Thinking Managers

Robert Heller of offers a simple set of questions that he believes leaders should ask themselves on a regular basis.

Management and Leadership

Managers need leadership, and vice versa – it is an indivisible, mutual partnership.

The key to success in leadership and management lies in choice.  Relative or absolute failure will result from a choice of an employer or an activity which is not the most suitable for their innate or acquired talents.  And that failure will affect all those who work under your leadership – leadership and management are joined in this way as they are both reliant on the ability to persuade others to use their own talents and expertise to achieve business goals.

Human relations can prove difficult for leader/managers for reasons of personality.  The ability to relate to others is a basic requirement of effective leadership.  You have to be able to relate to everyone, from close colleagues to unfamiliar new employees.  Despite this, I’ve dealt with leaders who fail on the most basic human tests.  One manager even told me that he didn’t know how to say thank you, and yet he was still very successful.

However, had he been better at communicating and a more effective man-manager, he might have been even more successful.

A good leader must be his or her harshest critic.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I effective as a leader?  Do I enable others to lead just as effectively in their areas?
  • Do I check myself on a continuous basis and do the same with my colleagues and the organisation in order to identify and exploit areas that could be improved significantly?
  • Am I quick at identifying issues and do I resolve them as fast as I can and with due diligence?
  • Do I act on decisions and provide feedback without delay?
  • Does everyone know what I’m doing and do they know why I’m doing it - and can I say the same about them?
  • Has a culture been created where everybody welcomes change and knows how to implement it?
  • Have I identified the key success factors and am I sure that they are working well?
  • Are there high and potentially rewarding ambitions to work towards?
Never forget that change is constant and that your strategy and tactic need to be constantly under review.  Ignoring this fact is a recipe for disaster; whether you call it bad management or bad leadership hardly matters.
About the author
Robert Heller is one of the world’s best selling authors on business management.