b-school, HRM, Management, MBA, Thoughts

Want someone to do something? You’ve got to go first! (and be accountable)

Have you wondered what actually makes a good manager? Is it something that is taught at business schools or is it something more?

Why some people have that ability to make others follow them and others do not? Is it credibility that makes people follow you? How can you grow trust and dependability.

Well, there’s no easy recipe based on power point files or blog passages, but there’s a couple of things that always work:

  • Because you care, and people know that you care.
  • Because you also do it, and not in some kind of gimmick, but wholeheartedly.

When you care and you lead, people will follow.

Given that, it makes me wonder how is it possible that organisations spend so much money in education and training, and so little effort in following how people really behave, how they lead, how they care.

There’s a because to that: we always prefer what is measurable.

Tell it to Kaplan and Norton when they were conceiving the balanced scorecard! Hard financial measures versus soft data such as feelings and perceptions. The hard data is in the books, in the balance sheets. It’s already there, and relatively undisputed and objective. It’s the easiest building block for the diagnose of the company. But it’s only a single point of view, and focused on what has already happened, focused on the past.

In education is exactly the same: it’s always easier to stop at the happy questionnaires at the end of the seminar. Albeit they only take soft measurements, they are easy to gather.But what do they actually gather? They are also focused on the past, on the educational experience, on what has already happened. The rear view mirror.

Following the application of what has been learned at the latest educational experience should be a must for every company. Why throwing away all that investment if you don’t measure the results? Accountability should be the norm for everyone that learns something.

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That’s the deal: your company has channeled a lot of resources to give you a chance to learn, now it’s your turn to change, improve, to change the way things are done around you. You change yourself, make yourself accountable for the change, and then it shows.

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