Newsletter – August 8, 2011

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Easier goal-setting, what to say to a low-performer, and more

Hello friends,

I hope our skipping The Management Fix in August didn’t send you into too much of a tailspin … but now we’re back with a bunch of new resources to hopefully make your life as a manager a bit easier. Take a look…

1. Easier Goal-Setting

If you’re starting to set goals for 2012, here’s a simple tool that you can use to help capture your aims for the year and then foster discussion about how to achieve them. And that’s not all — once you’ve finalized your goals, this check-in sheet will help you monitor progress against them throughout the course of the year.

2. What to Say When You’re Addressing Performance Concerns

When an employee isn’t meeting the bar you need, speaking candidly about the problem is one of your most important (and sometimes difficult) responsibilities … and sometimes finding the right language to use can make it a lot easier. Here’s a sample of what an initial, informal warning conversation might sound like with an employee who’s struggling. And if the problems continue after that, here’s a sample of a more formal warning, this one in writing.

3. How Second-In-Commands Can Manage Up

The relationship between an executive director and second-in-command is crucial to get right — and comes with a unique set of challenges. In this piece, our friend Sam Bell explains how #2s can work effectively with #1s, including the importance of providing a steady stream of information on the “little stuff,” challenging the #1’s assumptions, and helping the staff understand the challenges the #1 faces.

4. Don’t Be Afraid of Temporary Solutions

If you’re like a lot of people, you may be guilty of prolonging problems while you search for the absolute best solution. But often — as this Harvard Business Review blog post argues — when you remove the pressure to find a permanent solution, you can move forward more easily and get something in place that works for now.

5. Creating a Tenacious Culture

I loved this provocative piece by Art Petty, who describes tenacity as a key ingredient in high performing cultures and advises hiring and promoting for tenacity, not letting people off the hook for giving up when they hit roadblocks, celebrating “heroes and legends” around tenacity, and letting go of “70-percenters.”

6. Send Us Your Goal-Setting Tools!

Do you have a form, template, or other tool that you use for goal-setting that you find easy and effective? We’d love to see what works well for you, so please send it over!

I hope these resources are helpful, and that your fall is shaping up to be a good one!


Jerry Hauser
The Management Center

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