There will be several posts on this topic. It was in the top 5 of posts 4+ years ago.
“What we have found is that the higher the rank, the more interpersonal and human the undertaking. Our top executives spent roughly 90 percent of their time with others and virtually the same percentage of their time concerned with the messiness of people problems. Our study of effective leaders strongly suggested that a key factor was the creative deployment of self.
The management of self is critical. Without it, leaders may do more harm than good. Like incompetent physicians, incompetent managers can make people sicker and less vital. The word ‘iatrogenic’ may be useful to employ in this respect. It refers to illnesses cause by doctors and hospitals as side effects of medical intervention. Managers, too, can cause as well as cure problems.
This creative deployment of self makes leading, as we noted, a deeply personal business. It’s what we’re calling, more out of convenience than precision, positive self-regard.
It may be easier to say what positive self-regard isn’t than what it is. To begin with, it is not a crowing self-importance or egoistic self-centeredness that we have in mind. Nor is is what’s ordinarily meant by a ‘narcissistic character.’ There was no trace of self-worship or cockiness in our leaders.
But they know their worth. They trust themselves without letting ego or image get in the way.
Recognizing strengths and compensating for weaknesses represent the first step in achieving positive self-regard. The leaders in our study seemed to know what they were good at from an early age.
So the first thing is the ability to recognize strengths and compensate for weaknesses. The second element in positive self-regard is the nurturing of skills with discipline—-that is, to keep working on and developing one’s talents.
But it’s not the profit and loss or return on investment that we’re primarily referring to. It’s the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguished leaders from followers. They seemed to be responsible for their own evolution and even could appropriately called ‘self-evolvers.’
It should also be said that while there is no substitute for achievement, leaders need not be exceptional in every way. But limitations cannot be ignored. A trait that begins as little more than a personal hang-up can become tragic through repetition, so effective leaders learn to compensate for their imperfections before they become perilous. Deficiencies can actually be used to broaden the leadership base.”
Take this strategy to heart, because most managers do not manage self. To me it is quite evident if we take time to observe interaction between managers and their staffs. The most common place for me to observe is in a restaurant. Decision about managers positive self-regard can be decided in minutes (quality of service provided by waitstaff).
Comments by paragraph:
- Most managers I worked with were incapable of handling people problems correctly. Much of it was related to the “good old boys club”.
- The term iatrogenic is an excellent term to apply here. It fits my experience, unfortunately.
- It is a very personal business, missed by many. Managers take advantage when they should not be. It should be looked at as equal give-and-take with managers having the final say. It is much easier if expectations, goals, correct job descriptions, and performance reviews are in place.
Continued next week.
The Strategies For Taking Charge
The Deployment of Self Through Positive Self-Regard, continued