Almost 25 years ago, an article in ‘Business’ magazine described the ten qualities employees most wanted their bosses to possess. A lot has changed in the world since then, but these (with some updating by me) still look good.
1. Establishing organization clarity
a. Establishing clear goals and standards
b. Communicating group (not just individual) goals
c. Involving people in setting goals (not just dictating them)
d. Delegate responsibility clearly
2. Encouraging open, two-way communication
a. Open and candid when dealing with people
b. Honest, direct and to the point
c. Establishing a climate of openness and trust
3. Willingness to coach and support people
a. Supportive and helpful
b. Working constructively (and decisively) to correct performance problems
c. Going to bat for subordinates
4. Providing ‘objective’ recognition
a. Recognize good performance more often than criticizing performance problems
b. Tying rewards to excellence of job performance (vs seniority or personal relationships)
5. Establishing ongoing controls
a. Following up in a timely manner
b. Giving ‘real-time’ feedback on how subordinates are doing
6. Selecting (and keeping) the right people
a. Both bringing the ‘right’ people on and exiting those who don’t fit
7. Understanding the financial implications of decisions
8. Encouraging innovation and new ideas
a. Surprisingly, this was seen as important regardless of how conservative or traditional the company
9. Making decisions and ensuring the organization executes successfully
10. Demonstrating high levels of integrity
a. Doing the ‘right’ thing, both internally an externally
Anything you would add or omit? Which one is the most important to you?
As many of you know, The Thornton Group is fortunate to be consulting partners with Patrick Lencioni’s company The Table Group. Pat has been doing a lot of writing lately, and this ‘point of view’ entitled How Executives Botch Layoffs from the March 6, 2009 Wall Street Journal is particularly relevant these days.
In this article Pat talks about the three most common mistakes executives make during lay-offs:
I agree with all, especially the third point. In fact, I read somewhere that most companies spend 80% of their time and attention on the people leaving versus those who remain — counter-intuitive, don’t you think?
I’ll write more about this another time, but in the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.