I have been meaning to write a blog entry about 12: The Elements of Great Managing since I finished it in December. I have a few excuses, none of them particularly good. Let’s see:
- I liked it so much I loaned it to a friend (HSG Consulting’s Principal),
- I liked it so well that I actually spoke about it with friends instead of writing about it,
- Or maybe I just needed some time to process.
Well, now I’m partway through yet another Gallup book, Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance. Go… is more of a workbook on how to make your job fit you better, how to contribute at a higher level, and maybe help others at your workplace do the same. It’s helping me clarify some things, some things that 12 brought to the surface.
I think I’m a sucker for these Gallup books because they reinforce my belief that we can collaborate to recreate our work so that individuals and teams function at a higher level, so that individuals and teams contribute from their talents and cover each others’ weaknesses. These books capture and evangelize my vision of true diversity – that people with different superpowers (vision, command, strategy, relating, woo…) can come together because they’re stronger as a team than as individuals.
Well, 12 is valuable because it emphasizes the critical list these same folks described in First Break All the Rules: the twelve items that make great workplaces, the elements that consistently attract and retain high achievers, the Gallup branded magic formula for success.
12 argues that great managers provide the following twelve things to their teams: clear expectations, sufficient resources and materials, the chance to contribute at a high level, praise, care and nuturing, respect, a feeling of purpose, good colleagues who care about their work, good comerades, and a chance to grow with feedback (paraphrased).
Now, this same group had explained this very same list in First Break All the Rules, but in 12, they shared stories of people actually doing these things at organizations, turning around places by paying attention to one of the missing elements. So, it is actionable and inspirational, providing at least a sense of the tools required to enact the vision.