There might be a million mistakes managers make, but the one we’re covering today is #1. First, let’s look at an example of sound judgment and skilled people management.
Good Managers Grow
I’ve watched Judy grow from a 23-year-old business newbie to a vice-president. She’s gone from vendor to friend to family over 20 years. I call her “Daughter #8,” with only six Miller girls and a daughter-in-law coming before her.
She didn’t begin her career to become an “executive”—but that’s what she is today. Her demeanor is sweet, kind, sensitive, helpful. I can make her giggle easily with my brilliant wit and charm.
This leader is no “meanie poo,” that’s for sure. But she did fire someone recently. If you think that makes her a meanie poo, you should not be in management.
Judy has known of our message of “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” and has loyally remained on our QBQ! QuickNote email list since it began in 2001 when I signed her up without her permission. 🙂
Little did I know, though, she’d taken our QBQ! message to heart!
Good Managers Get It
Recently, an employee in Judy’s office unsubscribed from our email list. When I emailed that address back to say, “Oh, no! Hate to see you leave us! We are fav clients in your shop!” I got a response from an EVP.
Adding Judy to the trail, he wrote, “John, this person is no longer with us so we removed the email from your list.”
When I thanked him for letting me know, adding a wry comment about how “tough that Judy can be,” Judy chimed in with …
“Well, John, when you don’t work the QBQ! way … you gotta go!”
I smiled. Judy, the young person from 20 years ago, had grown into a wise manager and leader. Here’s what she was really saying:
If you’re going whine, blame, complain, point fingers, make excuses, and play the victim—and not practice personal accountability—please go not practice personal accountability somewhere else!
And there’s nothing “meanie poo” about that.
Good Managers Act
The #1 mistake managers make is holding on to staff who aren’t doing the job. Weak and ineffective managers cut corners for these people, adopting them, covering for them, and making excuses for them.
All the while hoping they’ll turn it around to become a productive team member.
Rarely. Ever. Happens.
Here’s a saying: You can’t carve rotten wood.
Of course, no human we employ is rotten, but if you hire and retain someone who refuses to practice PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY, what is there to build on? What is there to carve?
Our counsel: If you have someone who’s not making it and you’ve done all you can to help that person succeed, be an outstanding manager/leader like Judy and end it.*
Who knows, that person might just thank you. But trust me, even if they don’t, the productive people will!!
*Warning: Please do follow all proper human resource procedures and processes, filling each form out in triplicate!
Have you seen the #1 management mistake made? What were the consequences?