business news in context, analysis with attitude

Yesterday, MNB reported on a Wal-Mart in Nitro, West Virginia, where the store manager has informed employees that they must be prepared to work any shift at any time – or they will be fired. The some 400 employees who work there have until Friday to make a written commitment to total, unquestioning availability, or they will be let go.

As amazed as we were by this level of prehistoric management skills, we were impressed by a piece in Wharton’s Knowledge about author and management consultant Marcus Buckingham, who told a recent Wharton conference that the best managers share one talent -- the ability to find, and then capitalize upon, their employees' unique traits. “The guiding principle is, 'How can I take this person's talent and turn it into performance?' That's the only way success is possible."

Knowledge writes, “How to tell a good manager from a bad manager? According to Buckingham, it's simple: Bad managers play checkers. Good managers play chess. The good manager knows that not all employees work the same way. They know if they are to achieve success, they must put their employees in a position where they will be able to use their strengths. ‘Great managers know they don't have 10 salespeople working for them. They know they have 10 individuals working for them .... A great manager is brilliant at spotting the unique differences that separate each person and then capitalizing on them.’”

And, according to Knowledge, “managing employees successfully is a rare talent. Even rarer, Buckingham said, is the ability to lead. And all good managers are not necessarily good leaders.”
KC's View:
There is leading. There is managing. And then, there is bullying.

More below on this in ‘Your Views”…