Friday, 5 July 2019
Mayor Ed Koch used to ask the people of New York, "So, how'm I doin'?"—sometimes to mixed results.
It was a brassy but effective technique to get citizens thinking about how their leader was performing.
Assessments are just as valid in business. Most managers in small businesses fall somewhere on the scale between Mother Teresa and Captain Bligh, but to get a more precise measurement of where your skills are—and where they can be improved to better serve the business and its employees—regular surveys are an indispensable tool.
Joe Johnson is the Chief Operating Officer for TAG Employer Services, a Phoenix-based administrative services organization for mid-tier employers nationwide. He says that being an effective manager and being an effective leader are two different skill sets, each with their own implications for the organization. “Management assessment is rooted in a few basic principles: Communication, developing others, delegation, organization, results orientation," he says. “Leadership assessment is measured by motivation and mentoring, setting an effective vision and mission, doing the right things, and effecting positive change to achieve a business strategy."
Being a good leader and a serving as good manager is frequently a balancing act, but it's important to get it right.
No matter which tactic you use, nothing will happen unless there's a clear plan in place to execute the survey (which should include strengths and opportunities for growth), a plan to discuss the feedback, and a clear path to taking action and staying motivated.
“The most effective way to determine what is needed to become more successful at managing a team is for a manager to evaluate how much time he or she is 'doing the work' versus communicating, facilitating results, and coaching individuals to achieve results," Johnson says. He adds that if the leader is spending more than 30 percent of the time planning, doing the staffing, controlling, problem-solving, and delivering results, his effectiveness as a manager plummets. “The next step would be to evaluate the next layer of employees and work on developing their skills to achieve a more balanced organization," he says.
When it comes to leadership assessment, you'll find thousands of tools—the trick is finding which ones work. Johnson recommends Hogan Assessments as one possible resource. ThinkWise also has an array of tools helpful to businesses of all sizes.
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