Purposeful managers embody two elements essential for driving meaningful change:
- focus - zeroing in on goals and seeing them to completion, weighing options before acting, and concentrating on key projects, and;
- energy - vigor fueled by intense personal commitment and the capacity to tackle heavy workloads to meet tight deadlines.
Purposeful managersWhy are purposeful managers so productive? With their focus and energy, they carefully orchestrate their time - e.g. building "think time" into their schedule, answering e-mails during specified periods of the day, etc.
They are also crystal clear about their intentions, demonstrate unrelenting willpower, pick their battles carefully, and feel personally responsible for their company's fate.
Most importantly, they refuse to let others (bosses, peers) or organizational constraints (job descriptions, salaries) limit their agendas. Instead they define their goals, then control their environment to meet their objectives - cultivate influential relationships, independently accessing resources, etc.
Managers short on focus and/or energy can have damaging consequences for a company:
- The procrastinators (low focus, low energy)
dutifully perform routine tasks but fail to take initiative, raise
performance levels, or engage with strategy.
- The disengaged (high focus, low energy) are
exhausted and unable to commit to tasks that hold little meaning for
them. They approach their work halfheartedly, deny a problem exists, or
refuse to act even when it's critical.
- The distracted (low focus, high energy) comprise most managers. Shortsighted and over-committed, they feel a desperate need to do something - anything - when pressure mounts. But short on reflection, they have trouble developing strategies and adjusting their behaviour to new realities.
Creating purposeful managersHow to boost your manager's energy and focus? Give them meaningful challenges, then let them decide how to meet them. Empower them to turn compelling visions into reality. Stress how essential their contributions are.