"Learning faster than your competitors is the only sustainable competitive advantage in an environment of rapid change."
Arie deGues

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 376

Estimated reading time:  2:30


I had the great honour this week of working once again with a group of young leaders, this time in healthcare. Early in our work I offered this quote from Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman’s 1999 book, First Break All the Rules.http://www.gallup.com/press/176069/first-break-rules-world-greatest-managers-differently.aspx 


 “We had discovered that the manager – not pay, benefits, perks, or a charismatic corporate leader – was the critical player in building a strong workplace. The manager was the key….An employee may join Disney or GE or Time Warner because she is lured by their generous benefits package and their reputation for valuing employees. But it is her relationship with her immediate manager that will determine how long she stays and how productive she is while she is there.”


The book, and this conclusion, was based on over 1 million interviews over 25 years and it has been a go to idea for me for 15 years. I asked the group for their reflections on the idea that the key factor driving commitment and productivity was the relationship with the manager, here and now. The comments back included great questions like ‘what about current economy and people staying in jobs just to have a job?’ and “if the data goes back now to 40 years ago, what of the generational changes?’ ‘what about the tech changes?’ As one young leader asked, if I have an app that provides me with great data and ideas about how I can be a better manager, maybe the relationships change?’ Or, ‘how many of the jobs done by people interviewed over the study are now being done by bots?’


The question that stopped me in my tracks though was ‘do we define good management in a new way now?’ My own reflection since the question was asked, was no. I wonder though, might my own biases preclude me from seeing something new emerging? 



I’d love to hear from you, is how we define “good management” (healthy, engaged relationships, and focusing on other people’s growth) changing in the midst of the changing world?