You Can’t Make Someone Productive

No manager can make an employee productive. Managers are catalysts. They can speed up the reaction between the talent of the employee and the needs of the customer and company. They can help the employee find his path of least resistance toward his goals.

Perks and Promotion

We still think that the most creative way to reward excellence in a role is to promote the person out of it. We still tie pay, perks and titles to a rung on the ladder. The higher the rung, the greater the pay, the better the perks and the grander the title.

Average Limits Excellence

Don’t use average to estimate the limits of excellence. You will drastically underestimate what is possible. Focus on your best performers, and keep pushing them toward the right edge of the bell curve.

Manage Around Weakness

So you have selected for talent, and you have defined the right outcomes. You have your people, and they have their goals. What should you do now? What should you do to speed each person’s progress toward performance? Great managers would offer you this advice: Focus on each person’s strengths, and manage around his weaknesses. […]

Match Talent to Role

As a manager, your job is not to teach people talent. Your job is to help them earn the accolade “talented” by matching their talent to the role. To do this well, like all great managers, you have to pay close attention to the subtle but significant differences between roles.

Talent is Not Us

For most of us, talent seems like a rare and precious thing, bestowed on special, faraway people. They are different, these people with talent. They are “not us.”

Don’t Force Managers to Fit Molds

A company should not force every manager to manage his people exactly the same way. Each manager will, and should, employ his own style. What a company can and should do is keep every manager focused on the four core activities of the catalyst role: select a person, set expectations, motivate the person and develop […]

The Manager is Key To a Strong Workplace

We had discovered that the manager — not pay, benefits, perks or a charismatic corporate leader — was the critical player in building a strong workplace. The manager was the key.

Great Managers Don’t Overcome Weaknesses

They do not believe that a person can achieve anything he sets his mind to. They do not try to help a person overcome his weaknesses. Great managers put you in a position where your weaknesses are strengths.

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