Management Blog

Managerial Leadership Practices based on the Time Span research of Elliott Jaques.

Latest articles

Who Sits on Your Shoulder?

My mood was upbeat, but this conversation with Nathan was not lifting his spirits. His team was not on a mutiny, but they weren’t paying much attention to him. “So, you have had a bit of difficulty getting out of the gate with your team. As you think about yourself, as a manager, who comes to mind, from your past? Who is that person sitting on your...

Sidelined by the Team

Nathan, a new manager, had been sidelined by his team. “What happened?” I asked. “I don’t know. I was giving orders for the day and a couple of the guys wandered off and before you know it, I was in the room by myself.” “What do you think happened?” I continued. “Well, Troy had been on my case since I was first made manager. Seems he thought...

Showing Up on Time?

“What did you learn?” I asked. Martin had finished a couple of days speaking with his team about their individual values. “I gotta tell you,” Martin started, “I have never had this kind of conversation with my team before. I rounded them up the next morning and before we started the shift, I just floated a couple of questions. When we work well...

Values in Other People

“So, let’s get back to the conversation part,” Martin insisted. “How do you get people to talk about values in a way that is helpful?” “It is really very easy,” I said. “You simply ask them. “I know you have tried this before and you got the lizard eye stare, but try the question differently, not about them, but about the environment around them....

A Rose by Any Other Color

Martin was waiting in the conference room when I arrived. He had a single sheet of paper in front of him. “That was easier than I thought,” he started. “I simply observed the way my team members dress, and it was curious how quickly I noticed the difference between my top performers and the rest of my team.” “Observing physical characteristics can...

A Book by Any Other Cover

“So, how do you find out what they want?” asked Martin. “You know, sometimes I talk to them about stuff like this. Sometimes, I ask them what their goals are. And sometimes, they don’t have a clue. “I know it’s important to get some alignment between what I want (or what the company wants) and what they want. But sometimes, I don’t think they know.”...

How To Find Out

Martin held his head in his hand. He squinted and looked at the ceiling. “Do you mean that all my attempts at motivation have been like hitting my head against a brick wall?” he asked. I raised my eyebrows and shook my head affirmative. “People will only comply with what you want to do. They will commit to what they want to do. All you have to...

It’s Not What You Want That Matters

“You cannot motivate anyone to do anything,” I observed. Martin was stumped. “But I thought that was part of my job,” he protested. “You can think that all you want, but it is not possible,” I continued. I could see in Martin’s eyes that he was conflicted between what he thought and his real experience trying to motivate his team members. “Well,...

The Necessity of Management

“Everything seems to change, every day,” Charlotte whispered. She felt the change, but had never said the words. “Think about this,” I suggested, “if nothing changed in your company, what would your team members do every day?” The anticipated blank stare pierced the silence. “That’s right!” I exclaimed. “If nothing changed, they would never do...

Questions for Soft Skills

From the Ask Tom mailbag – Question: This is a follow-up on Interviewing for Soft Skills. You said to interview for behaviors connected to soft skills. Fit. How does a person who “fits” our organization behave? Values. How does a person with our values behave? Attitude. How does a person with a positive attitude behave? What do the questions...

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