Managerial success formula. How to distinguish a successful manager from his less successful colleague? What determines success, and what are its components?
Remember the 10,000-hour rule from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Geniuses and Outsiders? The author claims that having worked 10,000 hours in one direction, one can achieve the heights of mastery in his field.
My managerial activity in the field of commercial procurement has long surpassed the line of 20,000 hours. Over the past 16 years, I have worked in 8 diverse companies: online and offline, federal and local, wholesale and retail, startups and age groups, with the participation of Russian and foreign capital. Before my eyes, and often with my participation, the careers of hundreds of colleagues have developed. I watched ups and downs with weaves worse than in soap operas. Some managers experienced success, others failed. What is the basis of success?
Managerial success formula
Analyzing the daily activities of colleagues, I come to the conclusion that a successful manager is not only and not always the employee who regularly performs 100% of the tasks set by management. Moreover, this person may not be so successful in introducing his colleagues.
We can highlight the inner and outer side of success. Outwardly, everything is quite simple: you fulfill the approved indicators, behave in accordance with the requirements of the company – it means it is successful. From the inside, the situation looks different: you can not fulfill in full the often imposed performance indicators and do not follow the dogma of culture in the company, but at the same time feel extremely successful internally.
The following is the formula for the internal state of success:
Success = (I Want + Can) x Energy
By “want” I understand the following points:
- Mental attitudes;
- Values and principles.
“I want” is all that is formed from birth by an upbringing in society, including formatting within the framework of the corporate culture.
To “can” include:
- ZUN – knowledge, skills, including IQ;
- EQ – emotional intelligence.
It turns out that “I can” is our innate abilities plus the totality of experience acquired in the process of learning and self-development.
It should be understood that all the components that define “I want” and “I can” can be inherent in the manager in different proportions. One has a high IQ, while the other has a developed EQ.
In content, my understanding of “energy” is close to the term VQ ( Vitality Quotient, the coefficient of vital energy ), which was introduced into the managerial turnover by the psychologist Pierre Cass . He defines VQ as “the ability of managers to energize themselves and others.”
As applied to managers, by “energy” we mean the external manifestations of physical and mental health. The signs of the presence of “energy” include:
- “Burning” eyes;
- Totally positive mood;
- Activity, proactivity, involvement;
- High working capacity and stress resistance;
- Peppy, athletic walk;
- Confident gestures.
An interesting feature of “energy” is its dominant position in the triad: I want – I can – energy. “Energy” enhances and stimulates the development of “I want” and “I can.” The higher the “energy”, the more difficult it is for a manager to take a passive position, and the higher is the desire to do, act, develop himself (“I can”). A high level of “energy” can contribute to the transformation of lifestyle, habits, mental patterns (“I want”).
I believe that the presence of all three elements of the formula (I want, I can, energy) is an essential condition for success.
Components of success
What happens if there is no such element as “I want”? Surely we will get a manager who is full of energy, has experience, but is inclined to procrastinate and sabotage activities.
Which managers are characterized by this behavior ? I will try to classify them into:
- Former or fallen “stars”;
- All temporarily or permanently humiliated and insulted, including demotivated and depressed;
- “Wipers” (why? For example, trousers, skirts, etc.), who have sat in one position for years without the desire to move up the career ladder;
- “Fixiks” working in the commercial sector, but receiving an exclusively fixed salary without a bonus part.
The managers above can be described as those who can, but no longer want. The classification, of course, is not exhaustive, but it gives an idea of where to look for employees who do not “want”.
And what will happen if the manager has “energy” and he “wants”, but the element “I can” is not developed? In this case, we get a stupid or, conversely, capable enthusiast. Due to the limited experience, he is extremely active, but his ubiquity can annoy others. A similar situation is typical for managers starting a career: they already “want”, but not yet “can”.
What is a manager without “energy”? Most likely, this is a kind of “guru” with past merits, a former “star”, perhaps an age-old “icon” of the company with many years of experience. However, due to lack or lack of energy, the activities of such a manager, although correct and loyal from the position of management, are so slow and unproductive that they can cause a negative reaction among colleagues.
Such employees are usually “kept” as historical memory, like a piggy bank of knowledge about the milestones of the company’s development. The benefits of their activities are dubious. However, the reputation among other employees is high, and the halo of past merits is dazzling.
How to identify a successful manager
The main features are expressed in lifestyle and habits. As a rule, a successful manager:
Develops its “can”:
- The morning begins by exploring industry news on the Internet, rather than poisoning stories with colleagues.
- It works for the result. Here the question may arise: then why should he schedule from 9.00 to 18.00?
- Actively develops one or two accounts on social networks. Perhaps he uses them to keep a diary in the spirit of Leo Tolstoy, either as a platform for popularizing ideas or as a public photo album.
- He constantly develops himself through reading, courses, forums, communication, has a strong internal need for this.
- Passionate about something other than work and sports (hobbies).
Supports its “want”:
- Follows personal precepts and principles;
- He cares about his reputation in the industry, ethical, law-abiding;
- Possesses self-discipline, respects deadlines and commitments;
- Assumes responsibility;
- It can behave extremely independently;
- It competes with itself, constantly raises the bar of goals.
It takes care of replenishing the supply of “energy”:
- Playing sports. Not just buys a subscription to a fitness club, but regularly visits it.
- Eats right. Health is a priority in life.
- It provides a balance between work and family (home, friends).
How to apply the success formula
The formula contains three components and describes the inner side of success. Analysis of the external side of success, expressed through the implementation of KPI, as well as the lifestyle, behavior, and habits of the manager, will allow the manager to make a reasonable decision regarding the development of an employee’s career.
If there is no “want” element, then most likely you will have to part with the manager. No need to torture yourself and the employee. Give freedom to both of you.
If there is no “I can” yet, then train and develop the manager on the basis of the principle of mutual respect and trust of Yitzhak Adizes. Such an employee could potentially become a “golden” asset of the company.
If there is no “energy”, then either shows corporate “charity” and leave the manager for the role “the company is proud of them”, or dismiss, sending a signal to the rest of the employees about the importance of owning “energy” for career development.
There is no doubt that in the short term the leader is tempted to bet on those managers who are externally effective. However, in the long run, I recommend focusing on the analysis and development of the employee’s internal success.
How does this formula fit your observations and experience? What elements do you remove or add?
by Dmitry Shigonov