Nine Reasons Managers Fail

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Denny Strigl, who worked his way from the bottom of the company to become President and COO of Verizon Communications. Recently shared some of the key lessons he learned on how to get real results in his book Managers, Can You Hear Me Now? Of specific interest are the nine reasons managers fail in their jobs. I thought I’d share them – and let you see how you stack up.

• Managers don’t build trust and integrity among their colleagues. Do you say and do things that erode trust?
• They have the wrong focus. Do you feel you’re wasting time, effort and money by doing things that don’t really matter when it comes to getting results?
• They don’t model or build accountability. Do you tend to blame others, point fingers or look for excuses?
• They fail to consistently reinforce what’s important. Do you have a core performance message which you constantly talk about? (FYI: Verizon’s four fundamentals are: (1) Grow revenues; (2) Get new customers; (3) Keep the customers you already have; and (4) Eliminate costs.)
• They overly rely on Consensus. Are your decisions being watered down or delayed because you overemphasize consensus?
• They focus on being popular. Is your strong desire to be liked by others having a negative effect on your management results?
• They get caught up in their own self-importance. Does the need to gain admiration, be in the spotlight and get public accolades interfere with generating results?
• They put their heads in the sand. When you get bad news, how do you react – do you react poorly, hiding or dismissing it?
• They fix problems, not causes. Do you tend to use Band-Aid solutions to fix problems rather than seek and eradicate the root cause of the problem, even if it means expanding the issue?

So did you stack up? What other criteria would you include? Share with us. If you want to improve your leadership skills, considering joining Vistage International, the leading CEO organization (see for details).