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.
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.
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.
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. […]
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.
The best way to help an employee cultivate his talents is to find him a role that plays to those talents.
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.”
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 […]
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.
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.