Insights in Leadership

The Single Biggest Mistake Today’s Managers Make

March 2, 2015


An “old school” way of doing business has “not so quietly” found favor by many of today’s managers. This has probably been driven by the economic issues of recent years, where “bean counting” has again become king. This trend results in managers who focus excessively on outcomes instead of influencing attitudes and ways of thinking.


That’s the big mistake: Focusing on outcomes rather than influencing attitudes.


Focusing on outcomes is like treating a symptom instead of the disease. Bosses who do this will likely find themselves chasing their tails; micromanaging and constantly looking for ways to “motivate” people to produce more.


Instead, realize that work performance improves in direct proportion to healthy attitudes and mental discipline, not managerial oversight, incentives, or other flavors of the day. Remember that:


Thoughts    →   Words   →   Actions   →   Habits   →   Character   →   Destiny


Superior team performance is the destiny of the wise leader who takes the time to form his or her team with the above formula; and focus on shaping attitudes rather than focusing on outcomes. People with the right attitudes and ways of thinking will produce the outcome managers are looking for; in fact, it’s likely they will exceed expectations.


To implement this, leaders should try to live by a simple rule; think in terms of how the other individual thinks and consciously work to influence them to be a strong team member; independent of the leader; one person at a time.


When people feel valued and trusted, they will return that caring with an attitude of gratitude, and excellence in how they do their jobs.



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