The One Exclusive Secret to Managerial Success

Denny Strigl, former president and CEO of Verizon Wireless explains the secret to managerial success when he says, “Managers have one priority and only one; deliver results.” His book, Managers, Can You Hear Me Now: Hard-Hitting Lessons on How to Get Real Results, explains how.

The four exclusive fundamentals that deliver results.

“If the things you are doing as a manager don’t produce the following results, then you need to stop doing them. They are the only things that are important.”

  1. Grow revenue.
  2. Get new customers.
  3. Keep the customers you already have.
  4. Eliminate cost.

Dad went bankrupt when Denny was a freshman in college; it was a defining moment. Denny told me he didn’t want to be like his dad. He loved his dad but his dad never succeeded at business because, according to Denny, “He was wishy-washy. Dad couldn’t get specific. He couldn’t say the hard things.”

Hard work doesn’t guarantee success.

Denny explained that his dad was a hard-working, honest businessman. “I learned my work ethic from him.” Our conversation reminded me of my dad, who is still the hardest working man I know. I want to be like him. But, like Denny’s dad, my dad never succeeded at business because he was “too nice.”

How to be tough and tender?

Effectively exhibiting and appropriately applying toughness and tenderness epitomizes successful managers. If you can be tough without being mean and tender without getting walked on, you’ll rise to the top.

Respecting people balances toughness and tenderness. For example, setting high expectations respects a person’s abilities to deliver results. Giving employees authority and getting out of their way also demonstrates respect.

Denny wrote, “Any work climate that focuses on results must also possess respect.”


How do you get results while showing respect?