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Management Excellence (Observable Traits)

Pertains to supervisors, department heads and those who manage others.

1. Ethical

  1. Strives for high-integrity treatment of others.
  2. Honest, fair, high character.

2. Efficacy – The ability to execute strategy

  1. Has a passion for results.
  2. Gets the job done – done well, done on time.
  3. Inspires others inside and outside the company to get their part of the job done well and on time also.
  4. Other measurements: 1) Keenness of subordinates, 2) Confidence of superiors. – Henri Fayol circa 1900

3a. Has the hard conversations - with subordinates

  1. Insists on high-quality and high-quantity work, and good attitudes from subordinates.
  2. Has that rare quality which enables them to address each employee whose performance is below the standard, and get them to improve their behavior, without creating resentment.
  3. Strong enough to “Let them know when you know, always;” insisting they, “Get good or get gone,” without being pushed by your boss; and without big gaps in progress.
  4. All their employees are either hitting the standard or are in a performance improvement program.

3b. Has the hard conversations - with customers, vendors, and other constituents

  1. Will confront a supplier, co-worker or customer about getting in line with company goals, in a diffident manner.
  2. Will quickly make the outbound call to customers, vendors, or other constituents who are upset with us, or who should be forewarned that we aren’t going to meet their expectation.

4. Observable self-improvement

  1. Receives criticism in a constructive manner.
  2. Admits when they are wrong; apologizes.
  3. Confronts their own shortcomings, and makes observable improvements.

5. Linear thinker

  1. Pragmatic, systematic problem solver – even for sophisticated solutions requiring multiple steps across weeks or months.
  2. Thinks thoughts through to their end.
  3. Has a strong affinity for facts.

6. Commitment to our cause

  1. Customers, employees and suppliers view them as the company.
  2. They generate enthusiasm and commitment in others because they believe so deeply in the cause.

7. Initiative

  1. Ongoing quality improvement is in their nature.
  2. Takes responsibility any time they encounter a problem – from as small as picking scrap paper off the hall floor; to satisfying an unhappy customer; to changing the markets we operate in.
  3. Exceeds expectations.

8. Acts with urgency

  1. With technical problems, employee issues, or process improvements.
  2. They rearrange their schedule, when necessary, to get to all the one-time jobs that are considered “working on the business.” – Michael Gerber

9a. Self-disciplined

9b. Their word is good.  They live up to their commitments, even the small ones.

If they commit to doing it, they use the tools to make sure it will get done. (e.g. daytimer, written notes without being asked, reliable filing system).

9c. High attention-to-detail is in their nature

  1. They take the time to double check.
  2. Their work area is organized.
  3. If they produced it you don’t have to question if it is correct.

10. Good communicator

  1. People who work for them or with them feel in the information loop.
  2. On the other hand, they don’t talk too much.
  3. They speak for the listener or the point.  They do not speak for themselves or to satisfy their own ego.

11. Inclines to “minimize costs” while striving to “maximize sales”

12. People (at or above the performance standard) like working for them

  1. They project humility and kindness.
  2. They possess an emotional core that doesn’t vary.
  3. They take no credit for accomplishments.  They deflect all compliments to team members.
  4. They bring out the best that others have in them.
  5. Employees feel appreciated and listened to.

13. They are the bulwark of the strength-giving company policies

  1. As long as they are around, the important policies and procedures won’t erode.
  2. They cause subordinates to appreciate and comply with established best practices.
  3. The best managers are trainers, teachers and mentors.

14. Stress hardiness (Grace under pressure)

  1. When the volume of work spikes up and becomes overwhelming, they don’t get overwhelmed.
  2. When attacked or put on the hot seat, they keep control of their emotions.
  3. When bad news gets delivered, they act constructively.

15. Discernment

  1. Able to divine the essential best next move to overcome our constraints, in spite of incomplete information.
  2. Good judgment – makes sound decisions.

16. Draws closure

  1. When handing off an assignment, they draw closure on the date it will be completed.
  2. When a new initiative is decided upon, they cause the group to break it down into bite-size pieces.  They draw closure on who will complete which pieces by when.
  3. During meetings, when a problem becomes apparent, they don’t let the group just talk about the problem and move on.  They draw closure on what the solution will be, or how to get to a solution; and when the review will take place to confirm success.

17. Atmospheric Awareness

  1. Recognizes (and addresses) all shortfalls in our operation encountered while traveling through the week.  Examples:
    1. a problem with our facility.
    2. a corrosive element in our culture.
    3. a production problem or customer service problem that needs a failure analysis.
    4. attendance, dress code, or safety problems.

 

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