Managing for Exponential Impact


Growth is exciting but not if you aren’t prepared.  If you said “grow” today would your team be ready?

The capacity of your team and organization to grow depends on the capabilities of your managers.  Much like the pebble in the pond, their impact is felt across the organization and is exponential.

Consider the role of the manager.  Not only are they responsible for direct reports, they also manage upward to leadership and sideway with peers.  Then there is the obvious but often forgotten fact that they manage themselves as well.  Leadership matters but the impact of a manager can have just as far reaching ripple effect.  It is exponential.  Is that exponential impact positive or negative?  Is it preparing the organization for the growth and change that will come?

A great manager or a rotten manager usually becomes evident quickly, unless leadership is not paying attention.  A great manager will not only deliver results but they will have an engaged team who is excited about the work they do.  The rotten manager may get results but at a price.  Few on this team will be eager to continue and are likely looking to transfer or leave the company entirely.

What more leaders deal with is mediocrity at the manager level.  Not great, not rotten but spreading an exponential influence of “good enough.”  Is “good enough” enough for an organization focused on growth and performance?  Not in my experience.  Mediocre managers have not prepared a team to step up and take on more responsibility.  When the team is challenged and pushed out of their comfort zone, nothing more than a lot of heel-digging and resistance occurs.

Mediocre managers are not usually ill-intentioned; they are typically ill-prepared for the multiple and competing demands they face.  With their exponential impact, managers are an ideal implementation point for harnessing strengths in a team and moving from good to growth.

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