Extra Effort Makes it Yours

So many people- staff, managers, bosses, come and go in organizations. Then we hire someone to take their place and what’s the first thing we try to organize- “we will have you meet and work with the leaving employee so you can understand their job and role”. There’s a fine line between getting something old or something new and creative. Sure, the new person should “understand” and know the “specifics” of the role, but please don’t let it end there. Everyone wants to leave a mark, something different, something their own.

Make sure the new person knows that they are bringing in new, important, and possibly different experiences that may make the products and outcomes further then before. Treat them and tell them they are almost consultants, where they need to understand the process, but we all can expect different outcomes, sometimes much more then with the last employee. Where would you be, what new directions would your business take if everyone brought more then the last.

To Do: At one of your next one-on-ones with a staff member, tell them to come in Monday morning acting as a consultant, not just an employee. You may find out that many staff have great thoughts and ideas.


Carve out your best 2-hour time period each day, then get to work

All of us get so busy with to-dos, projects, voice-mails, etc. I receive over 250 emails a day, and there is no way I can get to a level of specificity with each one, let alone the phone calls and voice mails. So how do you orient and prioritize your day to make the most out of the limited time left for the real important, project-line items.

I carve out 2 hours, my best two hours each day, and try very hard to keep this time allocated just for my to-do list. I have found that from 9-11:00am I am running at my best (thinking, energy, alertness), therefore that becomes my carve-out each day. In my daily calendar these two-hour’s are highlighted and I try very hard not to schedule other meetings during this period.

This advice goes very well with our earlier post “Don’t respond to email … yet”, when both of these actions can be implemented each day/week. Try blocking out two hours; let us know your success.

Action: Lets start with one week and then expand to a year.

Starting next week, block out your two hour period for 5 days

  • After the 5 days, reflect back on your week and ask yourself these questions:
  1. How well did I stick to the block-out time
  2. Did I get more accomplished on my important projects
  3. Did you start telling others this was your “no meeting time”
  4. Is it time to expand for the year – all 2013 ?

Reply and let us know how you did during the first week and after.

Don’t Forget the Overlap.

One of the best and most usable graphs I have run across in all the books and reference materials is the graph below. This graph is full of information, so lets pull apart a few areas that will help you know and in the future. Each department, division or company must depend on having the right people in the right place, doing the right tasks, and controlling their area of assignment. In the best companies, people are providing work that corresponds to the future and direction of the company. Front-line staff work on daily tasks that affect a week’s worth of work. CEO’s must look into the future, at least 10-15 years, and decide on the vision and direction of the company. If someone in the line-up is missing, you can see what short or long-term assignments will be missing. The best running companies ensure that great minds are aggressively pursuing daily to multiple year activities and written visions. Progress comes at all levels, so each is extremely important to the overall success.

An important visual on the graph is the small overlap that occurs for each position. Think about your current job and how you learn from the person above, or instruct to the person below. Wisdom, experience, and personal growth, let alone the company flexibility, all extend from this area. As I have said before, it is everyone’s responsibility to teach or mentor. This graph shows the connectivity and importance of doing just that.

1. Review the graph and think of organizations that have or not have people situated to encompass daily thru the long-term. Can you think of gaps in their strategic initiatives?
2. How does your organization line up with the graph? Where are you and what knowledge and thought process will you need to move up?
3. Once you find “you” on the graph, ask yourself if you grow with the overlap to your supervisor/mentor? And, do you develop those below you?


Welcome to the Management Mentor Blog! We aim to replicate some of the benefits of a mentoring relationship through this vehicle. Here’s what to expect:

  • 3 Categories of content: Organization, Team, Self
  • Practical tips for new supervisors and managers
  • Short posts with actionable recommendations
  • Bi-weekly original posts plus additional posts with updates and links to resources
  • 1-year of new content culminating with a comprehensive eBook by Winter 2013

A key element that makes a great manager is the ability to mentor each and every employee. Every employee should not only be appreciated for their efforts, but should be encouraged to grow and develop their career.

Most employees want to grow, but do not know how to broach the subject with leadership. The misnomer here is that the onus should not be on the employee, but on the manager to take a special interest in staff development. The challenge for the experienced one is to realize how this role fits in their daily work life. If managers think policies, procedures, internal processes, financial stability, etc., is why they are here and what they should spend all their time doing, they are very wrong. Building and growing staff is for the betterment of the organization and the future success for the individual. If this practice gets ingrained into your organization’s culture, watch out! Most everything else falls into place and everyone will want to work for you.

While managers have the burden of responsibility when it comes to mentoring, it is in the employee’s best interest to seek out these opportunities. The benefits of mentoring are well documented and researched. However, the inherent upside of a personal relationship with a successful, experienced individual in your field are obvious. In addition to the rich learning you will garner from this individual, mentors are also ideally positioned to open networking doors, assist with growth projects and recommend (or hire!) you for future jobs.

The Management Mentor is a blog for everyone- those who should be mentoring, and those who should be growing. We invite active participation from readers in the form of comments, emails or even phone calls. The feedback we get from all sides will continue to build skills and experiences in us all. Your positive participation will have immediate results for others. It is amazing what bits of feedback can do.

The Management Mentor.

Stay tuned for our first post and practical tip the week of Jan 23, 2012!