Mr Auzenne & Mr Horstman-
You create and produce a fantastic podcast. You deliver what you advertise concrete steps or clear observables to assess a situation (ala members-only DISC 'casts).
I am an average manager. My colleagues and friends chuckle when I say that because many think I am a great manager. I have to explain that I do not mean average in the statistical sense of the bell curve. I mean average in that I have average performance largely due to lack of consistency. Getting big things right, missing small stuff until the next big thing emerges, and then beating back a brush fire turned conflagration. To steal a phrase from a colleague, our work rewards firefighting not removing the combustibles. Others see my firefighting and think, "He's doing a great job!"
Your podcasts are helping me get more consistent and clear out the combustibles. You are right management is about repetition and practice. It is what I tell my daughters about soccer, and everyone nods sagely. Before your podcast, nobody provided a clearly articulated set of management instructions. Furthermore, anyone can test your ideas for themselves and see if they get results. I love that. It is the heart of your doing versus being of management. If I am thinking strategic thoughts, it is extremely difficult to tell if it is working. If I am using your coaching model, it is easy to see if week-by-week progress is made toward the goals.
I have shared you podcasts with my wife who is a fantastic manager. She intuitively does most of the things you outlined. At first she was a bit skeptical. In her case, it is not so much her performance that has changed as her direct reports. For example, she explains the steps in your feedback model to teach her folks how to give feed back to their people. For both of us, the coaching model was a revelation the manager is not the first resource for instruction. She and I are both extremely good at what we do. There was a natural tendency to mentor and coach via teaching. That takes an enormous amount of time. I found myself either not making the investment or choosing very carefully which one or two people to mentor and coach at any given time. For some reason this violation of one of the first principles of management I learned long ago did not seem to bother me, my colleagues, or the executive managers who all appear to do this. What was that rule?
If you try to do it all yourself, you can never accomplish more
than effort achievable by one person. To be more than an
individual contributor, you must stop individual contribution
tasks and lead, manage, and clear the decks for others to do
the hands on work.
So why was coaching and mentoring different? Apparently it is not -) Thanks guys!
In addition to my wife, I have been sharing your 'cast with a phenomenal HR officer in my Agency. She moonlights as a coach. Your podcasts not only greatly help her teach other managers in my Agency but also help her in her coaching role outside the organization. We have been discussing ways to incorporate your ideas into a coherent training program for the managers in the office
Thank you for your hard work,