We are only as good as our people

If there is one thing that a first-time manager or leader needs to comprehend deep in their heart is that we are only as good as our people. Jack Welch, one of the best management gurus, rightfully said that 80% of a great manager’s job is people.

A great manager spends most of his/her time interviewing and screening candidates, mentoring high potential employees, providing performance feedback, developing people, motivating the team, understanding their needs, providing them the necessary information to perform their jobs.

It is quite unfortunate that today’s managers and leaders do not spend enough time on people. Their lack of attention and focus on developing their people creates a vicious circle. Since they do not spend time developing their people, they end up doing their direct reports job. When they do their direct reports job, their direct reports do not develop. When their direct reports stagnate, they cannot perform as expected. Since they cannot perform as expected, their boss (you) end up doing their jobs and back to square one again.

We often think that doing the job of our employee is faster than taking the time developing our direct reports to do the tasks. We think that if we delegate the work, they will probably do a bad job and we will end-up re-doing the work. Our false logic dictates that if this is the case then we might as well save time and do the job myself.

Great managers think long term. Great leaders think about sustainable solutions and not just band aids. When we spend time and a lot of effort developing our direct reports, we are investing in a better future for us and the company. Eventually, our direct reports will do such a great job that we can set them on auto-pilot. This will allow us the time to do what we should be doing, leading and developing our people.

You and your company cannot go wrong when you focus on your people agenda 0 selecting, developing and promoting the right people.