Archive for the ‘Leadership style’ Category

Communication: A Key Element of Building Trust

Friday, March 24th, 2017

By M Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant

Strategic Planning Expert

Trust is a key element in business relationships.  Without trust, it can be much more difficult to get your people to engage effectively in your business.  It can be harder to get your message across to everyone in the business.  And it will most likely impede progress toward building the culture you want and obtaining the results you are aiming for in your strategic planning implementation.

Effective communications inside the organization are one of the keys to building trust. At the highest level, people need to see that you are willing to give them what they need in terms of information about the goals and objectives of the organization. Unless your people know what you want from them, and how those expectations impact what they do, it can be difficult to get everyone pulling their oars in the right direction. If you communicate to your people what is expected of them, and, importantly, why it is expected and how their efforts impact the results of the organization, those results should be better and more attainable. Included in this area should be two-way communications.  Do you value the input and ideas your staff can offer?  Do you listen attentively and respond fairly and objectively?  Do your people feel comfortable enough to trust you with their ideas, and to expect you will evaluate and value their input?

Do you keep your word?  Can people trust you to do what you say and to live to the standards you have expressed to them in your communications with them?  When you make a mistake, and everyone does on occasion, do you openly acknowledge your error and do everything possible to make it right?  Do you hold yourself to the same standards you expect them to attain?  Are you leading by example?

Do you share your strategies and plans with your people? People need to understand where the organization is going in order to make their own contributions to the overall results.  Have you effectively communicated with them so they know what is the overall course and direction of the company?

Focus on good results and contributions, and do so in public, so others see you supporting your people.  If you need to criticize someone, do so in private.  This helps the individual being criticized to understand that you respect them, and that you are trying to help them.  Criticizing someone in public is humiliating to not only the person being berated, but also anyone else who views the scene.

Concentrate on building long term relationships, built on values, basic principles and high level ethics. Think long term and how your actions affect everyone you are in contact with in the organization.  Building trust through effective communications at multiple levels will help build your team’s confidence and effectiveness.  This will help you attain the long term results you are aiming for from your strategic planning.  Your team will support you and give you the effort needed to move the organization in the direction you are striving to go.

We can help with your team building, strategy formulation and effective implementation.  Contact me at baldwin@cssp.com or at 616-575-3193 to discuss how we may help you.

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: baldwin@cssp.com

© Copyright 2017 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.

Team Building at the Executive Level

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Strategic Planning Expert

M Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant

Executive team building principles: What are some basics?  While one could write reams on executive team building, and indeed, many have, much of what shakes out of a deep analysis of the subject results in the whole thing being boiled down to some basic principles.  Although a short article like this can only skim the surface of the subject, here are some key points to consider.

First Principle: Have the right people on the team or, as Jim Collins wrote, “have the right people on the bus.”  This presumes you have developed a solid course and direction on which the bus should be driven. Many different attributes can be used to determine who those people are, and every company or organization will have its own definitions of what attributes pertain best to that organization.  In general terms, all need to be expert in their primary areas of responsibility.  All need to have sufficient experience to allow them to see and understand the perspectives of their teammates as well.  All must have the ability to communicate effectively both at the executive team level as well as in other layers of the organization.

By implication, having the right people on the bus also means getting the “wrong” people off the bus.  Nothing can throw a rock into the gears of an operation like having someone who simply doesn’t fit.  This definitely does not imply that anyone should be a “yes person”, but on occasion, people simply do not fit the culture of the organization at the top levels.

Second Principle: People at the top of an organization have no more hours available in the day than others in the organization.  To be effective, they should be concentrating on those vital activities which only they can do, and be willing and able to delegate effectively the rest to others in their part of the organization or consider not doing that part of the function at all.  An inability to delegate effectively will limit the productivity of the executive and hamper the results of the whole organization.

Third Principle: Monitor output and results tirelessly.  That does not mean that one should micro-manage.  It does imply that on a regular basis, with frequency determined by the importance of the project or duty, one should keep abreast of what progress is being made, what is scheduled to be done in the next time period, what problems have arisen and what is being done about solving the problems or even, changing the duty or project action plan to meet changing conditions.

If your team is having challenges with any of the principles above, you should first be sure your organization has a sound course and direction toward which you are aiming.  To do this, a comprehensive strategic plan with a robust execution process is vital.  We can help you achieve your strategic plan.  Give me a call at 616-575-3193 or email me at baldwin@cssp.com.

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: baldwin@cssp.com

© Copyright 2017 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.

The Strategic Value of Values – Part 4

Friday, October 28th, 2016

By Tom Ambler, Senior Consultant

Strategic Planning Expert

Strategic Planning Expert

Note:  This article is part of a series taken from Thomas E. Ambler’s article The Strategic Value of  Values originally published in Compass Points in April 2002.  In Part 1, we introduced the series.  In Part 2, we discussed Values’ Value.  In Part 3, we discussed Market Value.  In this post we will discuss Internal Value.

Internal Value

Now, how about the internal operation and culture of an organization? Can we logically support the assertion that Values cause success there too?

Nowhere are relationships more important than in the internal workings of an organization. Unity in those relationships is crucial for fostering the synergistic cooperation that produces high performance. Colonial theologian Jonathan Edwards’ statement, “one alone is nothing” rings true. Creating unity in a team is a crucial leadership function. It depends heavily on shared Values as well as shared vision. Cultures attract leaders with like Values and Leaders attract followers with like Values and, thus, build strong cultures based on shared Values. This implies that even strategic alignment, which we know causes success, is dependent on Values alignment.

Values-driven organizations win because they utilize leadership power properly. As Covey points out in Principle-Centered Leadership, power in an organization has three forms that lead to different results:

  • Coercive Power – based on the fear that the leader can do harm to the follower; promotes ultra-reactivity among followers;
  • Utility Power – based on leader and follower each offering something of value to the other; tends to foster individuality and situational ethics on the part of followers; still tends toward follower reactivity;
  • Principle-centered (Values-centered) Power – based on the trust and respect earned by the leader over time; results in high follower proactivity.

So Values-driven leaders enjoy more power and greater follower productivity, loyalty and teamwork. That permits them to implement more effectively the changes demanded by their strategies. Paraphrasing Covey–“the ability to make change is limited unless the leaders driving the change are secure in their Values, and their Values are fundamental values that do not change and are, therefore, not challenged by the change.”

Clearly, a focus on shared Values causes long-term success. This conclusion should not come as any surprise. After all we have on supreme authority that, “if we set our hearts first on God’s rule and His goodness, we will receive the material things we spend so much time and energy worrying about – He already knows we need them.” (Paraphrase of Matthew 6:31-33)

Hopefully, everything we have covered to this point motivates you to make sure your organization has a well-defined set of Values at its core and is consistently living them out everywhere. Two related questions beg to be addressed.

  1. What process should you use to clearly define your Values and recognize them in your strategic planning?
  2. How can you achieve alignment with the Values throughout the organization?

The next topic in this series will be Defining Your Values.

For information on how to take your strategic planning to the next level, please listen to our webinar: Why Isn’t My Strategic Planning Working?

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.

Tom Ambler is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at ambler@cssp.com

The Strategic Value of Values – Part 2

Friday, September 30th, 2016

By Thomas E. Ambler, Senior Consultant

Strategic Planning Expert

Strategic Planning Expert

Note:  This article is part of a series taken from Thomas E. Ambler’s article The Strategic Value of Values originally published in Compass Points in April 2002.  In Part One, we introduced the series.  In this post we will discuss Values’ Value.

Values’ Value

Now we can address our question “does a Values-centered approach make companies significantly more successful at achieving their strategic goals over the long run than they otherwise would be?” Studies resulting in hard information are very difficult to structure. The best-known and widely accepted study is the one reported in Built to Last. As you are probably aware, this study selected 18 world-class Visionary Companies that were the best of the best, enduring winners in their industries, and compared each to a similar Comparison Company whose long-term performance was substantially less stellar. One of the major areas explored was the difference in the existence and role of a core ideology in the paired companies. The following statements encapsulate the findings:

  • “In nearly all cases (of Visionary Companies) we found evidence of a core ideology that existed not merely as words but as a shaping force.”
  • Although profit is consistently a value in all Visionary Companies, profit maximization does not rule. They pursue their ideological aims profitably.
  • Visionary Companies tend to have only a few core values – 3 to 6.
  • “In a Visionary Company, the core values need no rational or external justification. Nor do they sway with the trends and fads of the day. Nor even do they shift in response to changing market conditions.”

The points above clearly indicate that companies with Values they live out enjoy greater success than those that don’t. If there is strong logic as to why this indication should be true, we can elevate its status from being simply a statistical correlation to that of a cause-and-effect relationship.

Enterprise is composed of transactions. Behind every transaction lie relationships–some good, some bad. Constructive, long-term relationships require Trust and Respect, inseparable, intertwined Values. Trust and Respect depend on fulfillment of the expectations of one party by the other. Expectations are based on Values. Everything else being equal, two parties sharing deeply held Values in common are drawn toward one another and develop a productive rapport. Conversely, where Values conflict, developing rapport and “Getting to Yes” becomes much more difficult.

Clearly, Values are logically a cause and the type and strength of relationships are direct effects, anywhere relationships occur.

The next topic in this series will be Market Value.

For information on how to take your strategic planning to the next level, please listen to our webinar: Why Isn’t My Strategic Planning Working?

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.

Tom Ambler is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at ambler@cssp.com

 

 

The Strategic Value of Values – Part 1

Friday, September 16th, 2016

By Thomas E. Ambler, Senior Consultant

Note:  This article is part of a series taken from Thomas E. Ambler’s article The Strategic Value of Values originally published in Compass Points in April 2002.  In Part One, we will introduce the series.

Strategic Planning Expert

Strategic Planning Expert

Daily our headlines shout of blatant disregard both for the law and for right vs. wrong by obscure and prominent businesses alike. We see headlines like “If you violate the law, you will pay for it”, quoting Harvey Pitt of the SEC in response to questions related to the Enron debacle with its possible auditor complicity, witting or unwitting. Or headlines like “Tyson Foods Executives Indicted” for smuggling illegal aliens, aiding them in obtaining false documents and paying INS undercover agents “recruiting expenses”. Deplorable? Yes. Shocking? Maybe. New? No. The products of human greed and moral expediency have been with us ever since Adam and Eve decided they wanted to be God.

Unfortunately, seldom do we see headlines that highlight those companies and organizations that consistently live out positive values. Our guts tell us that these businesses must benefit from their positive, Values-centered approach. But how much? Do the benefits rise above simply having well-rested employees with easy consciences? Does a Values-centered approach produce a payoff that makes these companies significantly more successful at achieving their strategic goals over the long run than they otherwise would be?

Values – A Definition

Let’s define the term “Values”. Consider first what Values are not. They are not operating or cultural practices, processes or policies. These are subject to continual revision in response to environmental changes. These may be values-based, but are not Values themselves. Instead, (borrowing from the definition of “Core Values” in Built to Last), Values are the organization’s essential and enduring tenets – a small set of general guiding principles; not to be compromised for short-term financial gain or expediency. Values are the “proven, enduring guidelines for human conduct” called “Principles” by Covey. Values include both the Commitment Statement portion of the Mission Statement and Goals in the Simplified Strategic Planning (SSP) process. For example, statements like “establishing Trust and Respect as the basis for relationships with all stakeholders”; “the Company exists to alleviate pain and eliminate disease” (Johnson & Johnson Credo); the biblical Golden Rule and “respecting and encouraging each individual’s ability and creativity” (Sony); would all qualify as Values.

The term “Values-centered” applies to an organization that only makes decisions which satisfy its Values. A Values-centered organization is more likely to take a profit hit in order to better satisfy other Values.

In a future post we will discuss Values’ Value.

For information on how to take your strategic planning to the next level, please listen to our webinar: Why Isn’t My Strategic Planning Working?

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.

Tom Ambler is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at ambler@cssp.com

Implementation Advantage – Part 3

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

By Robert W. Bradford, President & CEO

Note: This article was originally posted in Compass Points in May 2006.  We are discussing the root causes of poor implementation in a series of posts.  Part 3 covers the third root cause of poor implementation.

Strategic Planning Expert Robert W. Bradford

Strategic Planning Expert
Robert W. Bradford

The implementation lacks follow-through

Sometimes, we see companies that do a decent job of linking their strategies to objectives and action plans, but still lose steam in the implementation part of the planning cycle. A lack of follow-through is one of the most common causes of this “petering out”.

The best indication of poor follow-through is action plans that haven’t been updated since the plan was completed, or perhaps a month or two afterwards. The team set up their implementation plans with good intentions, but then dropped the ball as more urgent activities drove strategy implementation out of their minds. This is common because the very best strategies are never urgent – they are undertaken well ahead of time, because time and money can usually be traded off in strategy implementation. Companies that choose to spend time when they have it – even when the strategic initiative is not urgent – are almost always more efficient.

To remedy the lack of follow-through requires commitment from the highest level of the management team. If the owner, president, or CEO insists upon a serious, routine periodic review of progress on strategy implementation, it is highly unlikely that your company will drop the ball. Practically speaking, this means you must keep to the monthly monitoring process that we outline in the Simplified Strategic Planning seminar and manual.

In the upcoming weeks, we will discuss other root causes of poor implementation.

Is your company having a hard time implementing your strategic plan?  Let us know how you are dealing with it – or, better yet, attend our amazing, data-driven workshop on Simplified Strategic Planning to learn how to develop and implement your strategic plan.  Our highly acclaimed Simplified Strategic Planning approach has helped many hundreds of organizations improve their strategies and bottom line results with effective, actionable strategies.  Please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

Robert Bradford is President/CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  He can be reached at rbradford@cssp.com.

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution

Another Look at What Makes Good Customer Service

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

By M. Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant

Strategic Planning Expert

Strategic Planning Expert

How often have you gone into a store or a restaurant, called a service department on the phone, emailed a customer service unit of a company, and had anything but outstanding customer service results?  All too often, customer service contacts don’t address your problem directly, or don’t serve you well, or worse, serve you indifferently.  You can go through layers upon layers of automated phone attendants, only to have to start over when one of the buttons you pushed ends up putting you on a wrong track.

There is such a big difference between getting good service and getting poor service. Getting good service, however, is usually not that much more directly expensive to the organization which is providing the service,  when one considers the long term overall cost, including additional time needed to resolve problems, multiple customer contacts due to unresolved problems and, probably the most important impact on your business, the potential of lost opportunities for continuing business with that dissatisfied customer.

What can be done about correcting the problem of not having good customer service?  While no one remedy will apply to every company, there are some basic principles which could apply to many situations.

First: Good customer service must start at the very top of the organization.  The company leadership sets the strategies, goals and culture of the organization.  If the importance of good customer service is not recognized and supported openly by top management, it is unlikely that anyone at lower levels will have both the inclination and the decision-making ability to make the changes which are needed to raise the standards to appropriate levels.

Second: Once top management has bought in, good communication about the strategies and goals of good customer service must be developed and effectively communicated throughout the organization.  People will do much better when they know what is expected of them in sufficient detail and clarity that their purpose is understood and well-defined.

Third: Constant follow up on the progress toward good customer service is needed to raise performance and adherence to the goals and standards set by top management.  A part of this can be regular testing of the actual customer experience when they are contacting customer service.

One example:  We often shop at our nearest Meijer store.  While we know the store pretty well, there are occasionally times when we don’t know where to look for a specific item.  To date, over many years, we have always been able to ask someone in the store where the item is located, and had them not only tell us, but walk us over to the aisle and point out where the item is on the shelf.  On occasion, we have gone to other Meijer stores, and we have found the exact same dedication to customer satisfaction and results at the other stores as at our local store.  There is a culture in Meijer that consistently reinforces the importance of good service that comes from the very top, and we have never had one instance of having anyone we asked not responding positively and getting us to the result we were seeking.

If you need help in improving your customer service as a part of your ongoing strategic planning processes, we can help.  Please contact me at 616-575-3193 or email at: baldwin@cssp.com

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: baldwin@cssp.com

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.

Improve Morale — Increase Motivation! Part Six

Friday, March 25th, 2016

M. Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant, CSSP, Inc.

Strategic Planning Expert

Strategic Planning Expert

Note:  This article is part of a series taken from Dana Baldwin’s article Improve Morale-Increase Motivation originally published in Compass Points in January 2003.  Although this article was written in 2003, these tips are timeless.

In Part One, we defined morale and motivation and said that one way to improve morale is to build trust between employees and the management.  In Part Two we discussed one way to build trust.  In Part Three, we discussed effective delegation.  In Part Four, we discussed several reasons why managers don’t delegate.  In Part Five, we discussed why some managers have a poor relationship with their subordinates.

In previous posts we’ve discussed what affects morale.  The other side of this coin is motivation.  How does one develop this motivation?  That’s what we will discuss in this post.

Clearly identify your expectations. Expectations are not goals. Goals are the final results you are shooting for. Expectations are the processes and activities needed to attain the goals.

Communicate those expectations to your people in whatever way makes their full understanding most likely. Depending on the situation, you might do this in writing, one on one, or in a group, or in some combination of the three approaches.

Be sure your people ask enough questions to clear up any misconceptions. Don’t just assume that because you told them, they will understand. Everyone comes at a problem from his/her own point of view, and what you understand something to mean may not be the same to someone else. Clarify until there is complete understanding.

Work with the individual or the team to set interim goals or waypoints which can be measured. Set dates for review meetings — keep them short and to the point or you may lose the others. This allows good visibility of the process and the progress to date, and good accountability for those responsible for carrying out the tasks.

Know when to step in and when to stay out. There is a real tendency for some managers to want to jump in and prevent mistakes. Others will allow those responsible for doing the job to delegate upwards, putting the burden on the back of the person who delegated the job to begin with. Either can be a mistake. A good manager will allow some mistakes, as long as they are within certain limits, so the person or people who are charged with the job can see what their mistakes are and learn from them. A good manager will also be available as a counselor to advise the team when asked, without allowing the team to push responsibility back up to the manager.

Another way to enhance motivation includes eliminating non-productive tasks or waste. As stated above, most employees feel themselves to be overburdened today. One way to lessen that impression is to analyze work, and to eliminate those things we don’t need to do, or to improve those things we need to do, but currently do poorly or ineffectively. Avoiding or eliminating waste is seen by the employees as a higher and better use of their time and company resources, and many will respond by working better and smarter themselves.

By having a good, well-developed strategic plan, effectively communicated throughout the company, the vast majority of workers at all levels should understand how their own efforts will have an impact on the success of the company. A well communicated plan brings the fundamentals into focus for most employees. And it gives them something to build on, for themselves. Knowing that the company has planned out where it is going, they will have a much easier time in establishing their personal faith in the future of the company. While this sounds somewhat idealistic, there is, in reality, much more to this than first meets the eye. When a person believes that the company he/she works for has a plan for where it is going, this brings a certain level of security to that individual. Based on that secure feeling, that person is more often willing to make a better effort, do the extra bit to make the company meet its goals and to be more successful. The snowball effect is real, and the company most likely will be more successful, given a realistically generated, effective strategic plan.

We will wrap up this series next week with some Strategic Thinking Points.

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: baldwin@cssp.com

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.

Improve Morale — Increase Motivation! Part Five

Friday, March 11th, 2016

M. Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant

Strategic Planning Expert

Strategic Planning Expert

Note:  This article is part of a series taken from Dana Baldwin’s article Improve Morale-Increase Motivation originally published in Compass Points in January 2003.  Although this article was written in 2003, these tips are timeless.

In Part One, we defined morale and motivation and said that one way to improve morale is to build trust between employees and the management.  In Part Two we discussed one way to build trust.  In Part Three, we discussed effective delegation.  In Part Four, we discussed several reasons why managers don’t delegate.  In this article, we will discuss why some managers have a poor relationship with their subordinates.

Why do some managers have such poor relationships with their subordinates? How many of us have had something like the following situation? A small group is working on a project, but the work is being slowed by one of the group. Your reaction is to question what is wrong with this person. Why is he or she doing this? Can’t he/she see how important the project is, and what effect their behavior is having on the rest of the team? It is difficult to concentrate on the project when conflict interferes. How does one overcome this?

First, be sure you are not part of the problem. Often, a manager will see only one side of an employee. We see their function as a part of the company, and little else. We forget that people have many roles in life, and their role at work is only one of them. Individuals who are flexible and accommodating when they are single, may find themselves able to be much less flexible when the demands of a family and children present themselves. When a manager asks someone to do something out of the ordinary, which in years past they were able to do, and they no longer are willing to help out, the manager should ask him/herself what has changed in that person’s life that no longer allows them to be as accommodating as before. A little understanding of the situation can go a long way toward solving the differences before conflict becomes too heated. Ask what has changed in that person’s life and the answer may surprise you. It certainly will prevent some unnecessary clashes.

Next, don’t talk down to others. It is easy to blame someone when things don’t go as planned. For example, one person, talking down to another, indicates that the other has not been paying sufficient attention to the project. In response, the second person, also patronizing, says that the first person doesn’t know enough about the situation to make that kind of judgment. The result is two people angry at each other, and a setting for deteriorating relationships. How can one prevent this? Stay in control of your emotions. Don’t talk back to someone in the same mode — talking down. Shift the base of thought. Change the atmosphere and save the situation and the relationship.

Make sure both people have the same information, and share a common perception about the situation. It is easy to have poor communication, and the resulting poor relationships, when two people come from totally different points of view and do not take the other’s perspective into account. A first step to resolving conflict is to agree on the facts.

All of the items above are aimed primarily at minimizing distrust and building trust. They may sound basic, but the world is built on basics, and we have to get them right. As trust in one’s superiors grows, morale can improve. But there is not always a direct correlation between the two. The other side of this coin is motivation. Those who do much of the fundamental day to day work inside a company need some direction and vision to function effectively. They need to know where the company is going and how it will get there to have the intrinsic motivation to excel in their jobs. How does one develop this motivation?  We will discuss that in Part Six.

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: baldwin@cssp.com

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.

Improve Morale – Increase Motivation Part 4: Why managers don’t delegate

Friday, February 26th, 2016

By M. Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant

Strategic Planning Expert

Strategic Planning Expert

Note:  This article is part of a series taken from Dana Baldwin’s article Improve Morale-Increase Motivation originally published in Compass Points in January 2003.  Although this article was written in 2003, these tips are timeless.

In Part One, we defined morale and motivation and said that one way to improve morale is to build trust between employees and the management.  In Part Two we discussed one way to build trust.  In Part Three, we discussed effective delegation.  In this post, we will discuss several reasons why managers don’t delegate.

Why are some managers poor delegators? According to the Agile Manager E-Tip series, there is a list of ideas why some are not good at delegating.

Lone Ranger Syndrome (or “I’m the only one who can do it right.”).” This type of manager won’t delegate effectively because, in his mind, no one else can do the job as well as he can.

I’m responsible for what happens. You’re right, you are. Sure, it’s scary. Richard Nixon once said, ‘I have an absolute rule. I refuse to make a decision that somebody else can make. The first rule of leadership is to save yourself for the big decision. Don’t allow your mind to become cluttered with trivia.'” The key here is to prepare your subordinates to make bigger and bigger decisions until they become comfortable making them.

I don’t have time to teach someone else. Oh, really? If you don’t, who will?” One of the major elements of a manager is to prepare his own successor, so he may move up when opportunity knocks. If there is no one to take your place, then you can’t leave, can you?

My people are overloaded already. Well, who isn’t? If you can find anybody in your organization who doesn’t complain about being too busy, they’re probably prime candidates for downsizing. Although you should be sensitive to your employees’ work loads, morale and protests, you should also realize that most workers feel “too busy” today. Besides, it is not hard to delegate compassionately, sympathetically and tactfully.”

I hate to lose the credit. If you’re in a team-oriented organization, it’s likely that you’re sharing credit for your group’s success already. Teamwork isn’t compatible with credit thieves and Lone Ranger mangers. Even if your company hasn’t adopted teamwork, however, appreciate the wisdom and long-term benefits of sharing credit with your people. The better they look the better you look. After all, you’re responsible, right?”

In Part Five, we will discuss why some managers have a poor relationship with their subordinates.

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: baldwin@cssp.com

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.