Thinking Managers

Robert Heller of is vehemently against management doctrines as the world of management has very few absolutes.  Instead managers must learn to deal with endless trade-offs.

Leadership and Strategy

Competent leadership appears to have a natural lifespan. Top managers are seldom as effective in their older years.

CEOs sometimes get drawn into a certain mindset that places priority on doing things right over doing the right things.

Also, charismatic leaders sometimes have a tendency to become addicted to their own power, and they lose touch with reality as a result.

The ability to spot your own mistakes and to rectify them, however serious, is more important in leadership than charisma.

A renewable leader should be at the helm, whether the business is prospering or floundering.  You need to change with the times and top people need new ideas more than anyone else.

Ask yourself these four crucial questions and answer honestly (true or false):

  • I am influenced in my leadership by what is typically true, so I miss possibilities that contradict this accepted view.
  • I tend to judge the probability of an event by the ease with which relevant examples come to mind – so I assess the risks of failure in a new venture from previous experience in the marketplace, rather than via available data.
  • I confirm what I expect to find by selectively accepting or ignoring information.
  • I am too influenced by my personal emotions – people I like are more likely to get a positive response than those I don’t.

If you answer ‘false’ for all four questions, the likelihood is that you are in denial.  Faced with a multitude of choices, the mind often reverts to short-cuts and rules of familiarity which make decision-making simpler and faster.

Do not be too easily led by the actions of others – you should be looking at what they are not doing, or not doing well enough, to influence your leadership stance.

You should also be open to all the data available to you – even if it doesn’t fit your preconceived ideas.

About the author
Robert Heller is one of the world’s best selling authors on business management.