What Great Managers Do

nutsBoltsMarcus Buckingham, in a 2005 article in Harvard Business Review entitled What Great Managers Do, states that “there is one quality that sets truly great managers apart from the rest: They discover what is unique about each person and then capitalize on it.”

Buckingham illustrates his point in this way: average managers play checkers, great managers play chess. The difference is that in checkers, all the pieces are uniform and move in the same way; they are interchangeable. While you need to plan and coordinate their movements, they all move at the same pace, on parallel paths. That’s how average managers see their employees.

In chess, Buckingham continues, each chess piece moves in a different way. You can’t play chess if you don’t know how each piece moves. More important, states Buckingham, “You won’t win if you don’t think carefully about how you move the pieces. Great managers know and value the unique abilities and even the eccentricities of their employees, and they learn how best to integrate them into a coordinated plan of attack.”

For more on this Buckingham’s article, refer to http://hbr.org/2005/03/what-great-managers-do/ar/1

Read more valuable leadership and management-related articles in this month’s Unleash Your Leadership Potential newsletter…

April 2014

Author: STEP Consulting