December 29th, 2003
I can’t remember where I read about this but it is something that remains true so far I have seen.
Don’t get me wrong: I am not saying the junior or middle management is more important then the senior management. Instead, I am suggesting that the relationship between yourself and your direct reports (regardless which level you are) is one of the important factors in determine how a group performs.
People don’t automatically work hard because they are working for company XYZ. Neither do they put in extra effort because senior management says something is more important. It is their direct boss which have the immediate influence over what they do.
This is why many great CEO and HRs spends a lot of time on the selection of the junior or middle management, particular ones which is going to oversee a large group of people. Of all decisions an management makes, none is as important as the decisions about people because they determine the performance capacity of the organization.
So how do you pick the right people? Peter Drucker noted there is 5 key points in his article “Picking People – The Basic Rules” (1) Think through the assignment (2) Look at the number of potential candidates (3) Think hard about how to look at these candidates (4) Discuss each of the candidates with several people who have worked with them (5) Make sure the appointee understands the job.
Particularly interesting in his article:
The central question is not, What can this or that candidate do or not do? It is, rather, What are the strengths each possesses and are these the right strengths for the assignments? Weakness are limitations, which may, of course rule a candidate out but effective executives do not start out by looking at the weaknesses. You cannot build performances on weakness. You can build only on strengths.
So, very often we heard people say “How can he be management? He is vain/arrogant/egotistical/too vocal/too mild/(fill in your blanks)!”. What these people fails to understand is everyone have some personal weaknesses but it is the strengths that makes the difference.