Posted by: gotrain | April 24, 2008

Are You the Go To Person in Your Organization?

Are you the go to person in your organization?

Can everyone depend on you to get things done or to make sure projects move forward? That may make you feel good, and powerful, but it could also stunt your growth by loading you down with too many tasks or responsibilities.

I recently worked with a client who had moved up within his organization to become Operations Manager of this growing manufacturer. He earned that position because his main motivation, of accomplishment, and his preference for high efficiency and for taking action drove positive results. He has a track record for having his departments be on time with their projects. Not all departments in the organization are as efficient, so he was naturally the go-to person to fix this problem in the rest of the company as well.

There are only so many hours in a day and he cannot supervise all the departments himself, so time has become a huge obstacle for his continued success. He thus needs his managers and supervisors to become autonomous and this brings up another problem and question: can his management team produce the same results that he is used to getting? After all, he cannot clone himself or enforce a leadership style that is not appropriate for his supervisors and managers. This is where strategic planning plays a significant role in staff development. When we think of strategic planning we first think of business or market strategy. Of course this is essential, but the strategy must extend itself to people and processes as well. Processes need to be assessed and improved continuously to enable the business strategy to work, and so does the people side of things. Contrary to processes, people are not always so flexible and maneuverable in terms of developing their leadership and teamwork abilities, which can of course cause them to become complacent or even resistant to change.

So our high performing operations manager needs to train and coach his managers and supervisors on how lead their teams for maximum effectiveness, so that he can be replaced and freed to continue to use his qualities, namely his effectiveness and accomplishment. Otherwise they act as a threat to his continued ability to get results and may cause him and the organization to fail. This can lead him to experience stress, it may undermine his effectiveness, and perhaps even cause him to display negative tendencies of his type like being overly aggressive and excessively task-oriented. To act strategically this operations manager must follow these three steps:

  1. Make sure the managers or supervisors are fit for the job. If not they need to be re-positioned or replaced.
  2. Train and coach his managers and supervisors on how to be effective in their roles as leaders.
  3. Provide ongoing support so that the managers and supervisors with their teams can be autonomous in solving problems as they arise.

By doing the above, along with the use of a good business strategy, excellence is a guarantee. Failing to do so is a sure-fire recipe for failure. To learn more about Style of Leadership contact me or read about our Style of Leadership & Team Development training workshop here. Stephen Goldberg, sgoldberg@optimusperformance.c


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