Sometimes you just have to tell ’em!

A few years ago the recently appointed CEO of Cisco Systems in America was asked how he got his senior management team to work together so well.

Basically he said he told them they had to work together and if they didn’t they were out! I was reminded of this when I read the piece in the Sunday Times at the end of January; “Just tell them to lift their game”.

Research at Roffey Park had shown that we are not very good at dealing with underperformance or telling people what we want. The article suggests that strong managers get more respect and that a firm consistent approach is better for morale and performance generally.

On the other hand…. some of you may have seen the article in Management Issues which states very clearly that tough controlling leaders with a target-driven approach do not do better when times are hard contrary to what many experts might think.

A 2-year study by think-tank the Work Foundation suggests that the most effective leaders think and act systemically, seeing the bigger picture rather than compartmentalising. These successful leaders are not just people oriented but focus on relationships and are self-confident without being arrogant.

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