Vantage Associates
Organizational Excellence
Thoughts on Being the Boss

In their new book Being the Boss, Linda Hill and Kent Lineback reveal the three imperatives for becoming a great leader. In doing so, they offer insights into why management is so difficult. To be successful, a manager must fulfill his or her responsibilities through others. Their ability to not only influence the actions of others, but the thoughts and feelings that drive their actions, is key to success.

1) Manage Yourself - It begins with you because your beliefs and values matter to the people you must influence. Too often managers rely on the formal authority that comes with the title. They act in the name of their organization and expect others to respond. A more powerful form of influence is the relationship you have with your employees. To be effective that relationship must be built on trust.

2) Manage Your Network - No group can succeed without the support and cooperation of others. Whether it's internal organizational politics or external pressures over access to resources, you must build and nurture your network to be successful. You may be tempted to avoid office politics or the time and energy required to foster connections outside your own organization. However, these networks often hold the key to resources needed to support the goals of your group. The value of years and years of experience often includes a deep and broad network much of which is portable from job or job.

3) Manage Your Team - What is the difference between a group of employees and a team? A group is a collection of people who coordinate their individual efforts. A team is a group of people who are mutually committed to a common team purpose and a challenging set of goals related to that purpose. This mutual commitment means team members hold themselves and each other accountable. The feeling the team succeeds or fails together becomes a very powerful form of influence. Creating a sense of team, allows you to access this additional influence. Sometimes the desire to be part of a successful team is more powerful than the desire to please the boss. Leading the team is more effective than leading a collection of individuals.

As you continue to develop your management and leadership skills, don't forget the three imperatives of management. Your effectiveness as a manager and a leader is linked to your ability to manage yourself, build a network and create powerful teams.
Nonprofit Peer Group
I am in the process of establishing a number of facilitated peer groups for nonprofit Executive Directors. Although each group may define their own parameters, groups are likely to have 6-8 participants and meet a couple of hours once a month.

If you want to be considered for one of these groups, please contact me by email. If you want more information, click here for a detailed description.
Poll Question
The poll question last quarter asked: How likely is it that President Obama will be re-elected for a second term? Here is the result:
28%Very Likely
12%Somewhat Likely
0%Don't Know (50/50)
40%Somewhat Unlikely
20%Very Unlikely
Our poll question this quarter is: Of the front runners, which republican candidate is most likely to receive the party's nomination?

  • Cain
  • Gingrich
  • Perry
  • Romney
  • Santorum
  • We will report the results in the next issue. Click here to participate in our poll. You may return to the Poll Page to monitor the results as often as you like.
    Facilitated Peer Groups
    Also known as Forums or Roundtables, a Peer Group is an opportunity to meet with a small group of individuals who are likely to have similar challenges in their professional and personal circumstances. Unfortunately, what looks good on paper doesn't always work in practice. There are at least three important factors to consider.

    Diversity - The strength of a peer group comes from striking a balance between a diversity of experience and similarity of challenges. If the group is too diverse, the experience of others may be interesting but not very relevant to one's own challenges. If the group is not diverse enough, there may be a lot of head nodding during the meetings but very little learning.

    Chemistry - This refers to how well the group works together. This is usually a function of the respect the members have for each other and the trust they develop through the process. The respect comes from members contributing and benefiting equally from the process. Trust develops as members share difficult issues and find constructive feedback and thoughtful solutions.

    Facilitation - A professional facilitator can improve the process in a couple of ways. He or she will allow everyone to participate as peers without worrying about who is leading the meeting. A facilitator can ask probing questions and interject thought-provoking positions as a way to stimulate the conversation. A good facilitator will also help draw out individuals who are less inclined to speak up as the conversation picks up.

    For more information contact - Jim Sisson
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