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

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More Practice

“Practice makes perfect,” Melanie grinned. “No,” I replied. “Practice does NOT make perfect. Practice may make you feel better, repeating grooved, routine behaviors, but, those behaviors may still miss the mark. Practice does not make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect. It’s not the repetitions, it’s the right repetitions.” “But, you...

Perfect Practice

“The training only got you so far,” I nodded. “But, your comfort level with the skills, competence only came with practice?” Melanie confirmed, “Lots of practice.” “What kind of practice?” I wanted to know. “What do you mean?” Melanie looked puzzled. “I just did what I was supposed to do, over and over, at first in fits and starts, but eventually...

Beginning of Competence

“What’s the difference between training and coaching?” I asked. Melanie was a new manager. “I’ve been to training,” she replied. “It’s scheduled, it has a curriculum, it’s disciplined. Someone thought through the sequence of learning, identified specific skills.” “And, when you emerged from the training program, certificate of completion in hand,...

What’s Local Anymore?

“So, it’s important to be Number One or Number Two in our market. I get that. Third or Fourth place just creates a target. Can we use geography to narrow our market definition? I mean, as a local supplier, we have an advantage. We can honestly say that we are Number One in our local market,” Gene explained. “Yes, if your market is truly a local...

Living Off the Crumbs

“Yes, we have a couple of competitors, big competitors, but they pretty much leave us alone. We’re much too small in the market to be more than a thorn in their side,” Gene explained. “So, as the overall market contracts and the Top Competitors‘ revenues get pinched, where do you think they will go, to hold on to market share,” I asked. “Well, we...

Undergrowth

“It’s strange,” Byron said. “A couple of years ago, we were on top of the world. We were the industry leader, now, with COVID and supply chain issues, things are tightening. You just never know.” “So, this was not predictable?” I asked. “No, our growth curves just showed, no turning back. I mean, it wasn’t hockey stick growth, but continued growth...

Spares?

“Looking at the future,” Glen contended, “we are desperately looking for that new something that is going to help replace some our declining lines of business. We find something, we gear up for it, commit some people to the project, but so far, all of those projects have failed. We end up pulling the plug.” “Who have you committed to these new projects?”...

Like Herding Cats

“So, how long could they keep that up?” I repeated. “As long as nothing changed, how long could your team simply repeat what they did the day before?” “Well, forever,” Nathan exclaimed. “But things do change.” “Bingo!” I said. “Things do change and that is what management is all about. Customers change, technology changes, raw materials change,...

Overwhelmed Behaviors

From the Ask Tom mailbag: Question: What happens when you realize you were given a promotion and not able to live up to the capabilities? Do you admit it to your superiors? Do you keep it to yourself and risk failure? Response: There are many ways to survive in a position that’s over your head, but in the end, it’s only survival. Not a way to live....

Planning, Goals and Objectives

From the Ask Tom mailbag – Question: My role has expanded recently and as a manager, I am expected to participate in our annual goal setting exercise, including setting expectations for my team. How would you suggest I approach this task? I recognize that communicating context is critical. Response: Congratulations. Welcome to your new role. Goal...

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