The best managers I have ever seen, or worked for, were able to delegate and inspect to the point that they could leverage their own potential efforts through the people who reported to them.
The less-than-successful managers never quite understood that while he/she got the management job because they were great at getting things done, they were expected to work through others in the new position. Perhaps they even felt, and were often right, that they could do the job better than anyone else.
Well, they were right about one thing; today they still can do the job better than anyone else.
Unfortunately, if they didn’t teach their direct reports how to do the job, coach their staff to improve, and let their team fall down once in a while, they would always be right.
The manager would be better than anyone else on the team, forever.
Ultimately, the role of any manager is to have their people operating independently with minimal yet regular inspection.
Part of the success is teaching the skills, knowledge and experience to complete a project. Another major part is imparting the understanding and appreciation for the organization’s mission, strategy and role.
Once a manager is able to get their direct reports to think like the manager, the rest is pretty simple.
You could put the results in an equation:
One great project manager (1) + eight direct reports in a support effort (.33) = approx., 3.667
Let’s suppose that each one of the direct reports gave a third of their time to the project (.33) and the manager gave his undivided attention to the project (1). This equation leaves us with only 3.667 worth of staff time devoted to a project
Using the leverage model, equation takes a significant turn for better productivity.
One successful coaching manager (1) X eight project capable direct reports (1) = 8.0
Now, let’s suppose that once each direct report is fully functional they are empowered and can dedicate all of their efforts into the project and the manager as coach can oversee the project while focusing on other aspects. This equation leaves us with more than double the amount of staff time dedicated to a project with less direct effort by the manager.
Are you leveraging and empowering your staff?
Alan Deichler is the president of CPAmerica International and oversees the association’s growth and development. Prior to being named CPAmerica president, Deichler was most recently chief marketing officer at talent management software provider HRsmart in Richardson, Texas, where he headed worldwide sales and marketing efforts. Deichler has more than 35 years of corporate experience, having held previous management and executive positions with Capital Formation Counselors, Inc., IBM and Ernst & Young, LLP.