Building a Great Management Team – Today’s Key Points:


·      You and your management team cannot change our current economic predicament.

·      The single most important factor for leadership success is your mindset, followed by thoughtful actions.

·      You need the very best from every member of your management team – every day.


Last month, I introduced the 9-Box tool and how you could begin to leverage its use.  Today I’ll follow that up with an example of how you can better coach them to higher levels of performance.












Performance vs. Potential



In last month’s column, I asked you to place the initials of your team in the appropriate box of nine, given the axis of performance and potential.  Remember, the focus was on their management and leadership contributions, not their professional or technical ability.  With that, I asked you to consider and reflect on your observations, after all names were in place.


Step away from the chart you created for a moment, and consider the sample chart I have included in the article, as well as the observations I have taken away from it.


This new chart provides you with a unique perspective; one very different from what we see when reviewing the organizational chart.  It represents the current situation with the 9 members of my management team, giving me a clear view of their current contributions and potential.  Unlike the org chart, which often creates the assumption that everyone on the same level be treated the same, I now have a clearer view of where people are and what they need from me.


The good news is that you only have one member of your management team underperforming, and doesn’t offer you any potential for future growth.  My recommendation is to work with them to set performance goals, don’t allow them to consume a lot of your time, and be clear about what must occur within the next 3 – 6 months.  I have seen other cases where leaders have a high number of people here, and the time required to manage these poor performers is nearly 80% of their management time.


At the other end of the spectrum, you have another manager who has superior performance as well as great possibility for future growth.  Like PI at the other end of the continuum, RS will not require a lot of your time.  The key will be to focus and channel their current performance, then expand the opportunities and strategic challenges you have them working on.  The dilemma to avoid is that they become easily bored if all they have to do is the general duties you have assigned.  All the items on their position description will not be enough to occupy them beyond their first few months on the job.


Finally, you have a majority of your management team members who are solid contributors and have varying levels of potential to leverage.  What you probably see them delivering is just what you ask of them, with a bit of other expertise when it falls into their area of interest.  What is often missing is the discretionary effort which is in high demand today.  Sit down with each of these people to review their current performance, and ask them where they see their career and contributions heading. 


Given the fact that you will need to continually grow the contributions of your management team, this group is the source where the majority of your discretionary effort will come from.  Talk with them, ask them about their interests, coach them, and let them engage their potential with the challenges your organization is facing.  They will often have the potential to keep their current responsibilities in check, and help support the change and updated strategic initiatives needing more attention.