Here’s a question for you: what’s the difference between performance management and effectiveness management? If you’re unsure of the answer—or if you thought they were the same thing—you’re not alone. Many people confuse these two related but different concepts.
Managers are the glue that holds an organization together. When we think of great business leaders, we think of people like Steve Jobs, Jack Welch, or Richard Branson. Wharton University management professor Ethan Mollack found, though, that it is the managers, not the visionaries, who push organizations’ profitability. Mollack says that managers “are not interchangeable parts in an organization” but rather key players. They are charged with doing more with less, managing tight resources, and trying to drive innovation and creativity towards a practical deliverable. It’s a tough job – and it’s one that never ends!
This past summer Stephen Covey passed away. He is the author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, and which sold over 20 million copies. As a manager, I found Covey’s take on how one should live one’s life to be an exceptionally helpful perspective on all forms of personal relationships.
Ah, the email inbox. One of the most common complaints I hear in the workplace is that the inbox is overcrowded and intrusive. Many people cringe at the amount of new email they get each day. In today’s workplace, it seems that everyone is overwhelmed by email. We use it as our main communication tool – to send status reports, important data, meeting requests, and lunch orders. We email clients, managers, project teams, and co-workers. We CC, BCC, and Reply to All. The results are crowded inboxes filled with often irrelevant emails that can overwhelm employees.
What do Wayne Gretzky, Magic Johnson, Kevin McHale, Bryan Trottier, Ted Williams, and Isaiah Thomas have in common? They were all phenomenal athletes with long careers. But, here’s something else they have in common: they were terrible coaches.
On the flip side of that, you have mediocre players (or people who didn’t play at all) who are excellent coaches. How is this? The skills required to excel are completely different. This is a lesson businesses could stand to learn. Being a skilled specialist, or having logged more time in the company than someone else are not the qualities that will necessarily lead to effective managing.