Managers too engage in poor performance and are often unaware of the impact of their behavior.
Poor performance by managers is more often an issue of omission than overt actions.
You need to be aware of the message that your inaction may convey.
The impact of managerial inaction was bought home to me when I was facilitating a workshop for a group of executive managers in a large, global organization.
I had been facilitating a discussion of the impact of the gap between what we espouse as managers and what we actually do in practice.
Suddenly a female executive, quite new to the organization but holding an executive position, said, “You know we don’t promote excellence here, we only talk about it and put it up on the wall. What we promote is mediocrity!”
This comment created an uneasy silence.
Before any of us could recover, she went on, “Each of us has walked down the corridor outside this conference room and heard one of our Account Managers bad-mouthing one of our top clients…and not one of us did anything about it – that is not promoting excellence!”
This led to an earnest discussion of managerial behavior and acknowledgment that as managers they had often omitted to reinforce the excellent values espoused by the organization.
It’s not enough to hang the values on the wall. Inaction is as much a managerial statement as taking managerial action is.
Challenging question: Where does your inaction lie? In what way does it work against the espoused values of the organization?
Photo credit: Clara S.