How Managers Get in the Way
“Most of what we call management consists of
making it difficult for people to get their work done.”
Four ways managers get in the way:
- Meddling – Managers that roadblock work stay too close and talk too much. Your people want you to let them work. Stop by to encourage and ask questions, briefly. Express interest, give direction, and get out of the way. Stay close enough to monitor progress.
- Meetings – Too many meetings that include too many people that share too much detail. Meetings are expensive. A one hour meeting with 8 people in attendance costs their combined salaries plus lost productivity. Remember, you don’t get anything done in a meeting. Things get done after meetings. Send a memo.
- Butt covering reports – Requesting too many reports that include too much irrelevant detail that takes up too much space in file cabinets and on networks. One reason you ask for all the detail is to cover your butt. It’s a business culture issue. Fear based cultures lack vitality, freedom, and performance.
- Projects rather than people – It’s instinctive to focus on projects and deliverables. However, it’s more effective and efficient to give clear direction, encouragement, and motivation to your people than it is to get directly involved in long-term projects. People deliver projects, not meeting or reports.
Enhancing productivity may not be about doing more and working harder. It may be about meddling and meeting less, fewer reports, and focusing on people.
How do managers make it difficult to get work done?