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Leaders do not have a big picture, they will be a disaster to others.

Information source: Time: 2020-02-21 02:42:03

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Every leader knows that they should not micro-manage, and even so, some people are still following this management model. Although I understand the disadvantages of micro-management, I will take measures to avoid it, but there are still many leaders who have not fully realized the benefits of giving up micro-management.
When it comes to not managing micro, its main benefit is that leaders can spend more time on so-called macro management. Although there are many definitions of the term "macro management", when I talk to executives, I use the term to describe "to deal with big problems rather than trivial things." If leaders can spend more time and energy on macro management, they will be able to stay awake, decisive and self-disciplined at the macro level (a major strategic issue facing the company), as shown by managers at the micro level (the method of executing decisions) same.
So, what are the major strategic issues that leaders haven't spent enough time to consider, or haven't answered them clearly and normatively? These questions focus on the following:
?? the reason and purpose of the existence of the enterprise;
?? What products or services can the company provide to customers (or not customers), and how and why these products or services can provide value to customers;
?? The benefits of the product or service to the business and shareholders, which are the key indicators that people use to evaluate the business;
?? Behavior of corporate personnel towards customers, other stakeholders, and other employees.
It's impossible for leaders to think these questions are not important, but there are many leaders who don't spend enough time to answer them, and more leaders don't answer clearly enough that their employees can't continue to answer these questions.
No time, just an excuse
As for why leaders can't answer these macro questions clearly, some of the main reasons often arise: lack of time, too many so-called "priority considerations", and headaches that are disguised as "important matters."
But I suspect that there is a more fundamental reason at work. Over the past three decades, articles on leadership and empowerment have advised leaders not to give too prescriptive answers to these macro issues, or the effectiveness of empowering employees will be diminished. We have been taught that participatory leadership, not mentoring leadership, is what we should aim for; companies should remain flexible while remembering “the only constant is change”; empowerment has a bearing on employee satisfaction and long-term value To important role.
I agree with the third point: delegation is important. However, my research shows that in order for empowerment to be meaningful, leaders need to set limits on the empowerment, while also defining the scope in which employees can exercise power. In order to truly empower employees, leaders need to regulate at least certain things. These issues are precisely macro issues: the reasons for the existence of the company, its products and services, and the behavior of its personnel.
If leaders can't give clear and accurate answers to these key macro issues, even the best and most motivated employees will sway in what they call freedom of empowerment because they are not sure if they have reached leadership I am not sure if I have used my time and resources most effectively. It is precisely because they want to do this that they feel pressured by the lack of guidelines; on the surface it seems to be an authorization, but it is a huge limitation. On the other hand, less active employees would argue that the lack of regulation by the leader means that they can do whatever they want (perhaps they are already doing this), which of course is completely contrary to the intention of the leader.
Making time for macro issues is not a luxury but a necessity. Leaders must personally consider macro issues, cannot delegate to others, can't outsource, and can't do it only once a year-wait until the company's annual strategic planning meeting. Leaders must think about macro issues once a week.
How can you have a big picture?
When you regularly free up time to think about macro issues, how do you come up with the most feasible answers to these issues while continuously improving? Here are some suggestions I summarized:
Choose from a negative perspective. Whenever you decide you want something (a specific market position, an investment in a new product, a new capability), you need to think about what you can't do because of it. This will force you to consider the pros and cons of each option, so that you seriously consider the consequences of each option.
Always assume that funding is insufficient. When the company has insufficient funds, the company must make difficult choices and choose between various projects. Often in this case, the strategic planning ability of the leader is best demonstrated. If you lock the refrigerator, it's easy to go on a diet. What happens when you get the keys back? When money flows again, leaders will begin to "choose everything." Such things often happen, and it is this paradoxical situation that will allow leaders to plant the seeds of future bad situations. Having too many priority considerations means that you have no priority considerations, and this will put the company to the test in implementing the work. In addition, this approach will narrow your own leadership scope, thereby weakening your macro management capabilities. Therefore, you have to pretend that you have insufficient funds. This practice can completely restrain your desire to "choose everything."
Discuss with people outside the circle. These people may be anyone inside or outside the company, but no matter who they are, they are chosen because they are likely to oppose you, question you, or tell you something unknown. To make sure that this kind of talent is adequate, you may need to take another look at your network of relationships: it may be too old to allow you to reach such people. If this is the case, you must actively recruit talents from different fields, capabilities and backgrounds, and let them help you test the quality of the macro answers. Questions you can ask them include: "Why doesn't this work?" "What kind of thoughts do I need to have in order to have no such results?" When someone asks you and you get new information, you The answer may change; even if the answer does not change, this process will make your existing answer more convincing.
Take into account both macro and micro. One of my most admired CEOs can do this: he can go from a height of 10,000 feet to the ground in 30 seconds-applying his macro ideas (business purpose, brand positioning, customer quotes) to the microcosms Operationally. But his most precious thing is to turn back to a higher place. It's too tempting to go from macro to micro, so it's very likely that you will stay there once you go to the micro level. Understand that the main purpose of moving to the micro level is to test whether your macro ideas work.
Once leaders have a sufficiently clear understanding of macro issues and the answers given are sufficiently normative, middle managers will benefit a lot: they just start implementing work directly. In fact, this brings more benefits to leaders themselves: they can no longer worry about the daily management of the enterprise, and can spend time and energy on the work that truly reflects leadership. That is, they can think about strategy rather than tactics and focus on the future rather than the present. Think about it, isn't that what they wanted to be a leader in the first place?
Elsbeth Johnson | Text
Dr. Elsbeth Johnson is a Visiting Professor of Organizational Behavior at the London Business School and a Visiting Researcher at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Tenghuiting Ou Ming said | Translation and Editing of "Harvard Business Review · Leadership Gas Station" | 马雪梅 xuemeima@hbrchina.org
Public ID: hbrchinese

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