A leadership development resource

from the Institute for Leadership Excellence & Development Inc.

Volume III

Number 2

On the Horizon This Issue:

"My Manager is Such a Loser!"
How to lead when your boss is a poor role model.

For Training Professionals Only
Are you a training pro who recommends or implements leadership programs in your organization? Make your voice heard.



  ["My Manager is Such a Loser!"]  [Training Pro's] ]  [The Institute Online] 


"My Manager is Such a Loser!"

by Andy Kaufman

"My manager is such a loser!"

Those words could be from an executive coaching client or a workshop participant. The descriptions vary but the basic message is all too common: a really good manager is too few and far between.

A really good manager…. I'm not referring to nice managers. I've had some of those. Nor am I talking about smart ones. Or committed ones.  Or those with good intentions.

...managers who know that example is the best training course for those they lead.
I'm talking about managers who understand they are not paid to simply talk a good game. Managers who get that they need to do more than deliver results. Those who understand they must develop capability, including the staff around them. I'm talking about leaders who operate with the understanding that the real world is more complex than nice little sound bites and over-simplified models. Managers who know that example is the best training course for those they lead. Who understand it's not just about them.

Why aren't there more leaders that fit this mold? It's a reasonable question without one simple answer. Contributing factors include:

  • It's difficult to develop as a leader when it isn't modeled around you

  • Leadership development takes time and time is what most leaders are in shortest supply of

  • Too many organizations suffer from insufficient accountability and performance management, allowing poor managers to remain in their position without training or consequence

Most organizations don't get it. They buy into myths such as "The best strategy wins", forgetting the maxim, "Culture eats strategy for lunch." Or technology. Or marketing campaign. Or (fill in the blank).

Leadership fosters culture. A leadership vacuum sucks the life out of an organization. As Peter Drucker observed, "Only three things happen naturally in organizations: friction, confusion, and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership.”

Which brings us back to you and your manager.

Let's face it, there are no 5 Easy Steps to Turning Your Manager into Peter Drucker!  So the question comes down to you.  What's your responsibility when you report to the leadership vacuum?

That's the subject of the August 27 entry in our Leadership in the Real World blog. Click here to read it and learn how developing leadership bandwidth is really job number one.

For More Learning

To your success,

Andy Kaufman

Speaker, Author, Consultant

President, Institute for Leadership Excellence & Development Inc.

Personal Reflection Questions

  1. What are some things that bug me about my manager that, in truth, I don't model well myself?

  2. What are some specific soft skill areas that, if my teams improved, would make a noticeable difference in our effectiveness?

  3. What do I need to do as a result of reading this and the blog article?

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For Training Professionals Only

Are you an experienced training professional who implements leadership and team development programs in your organization?

A component of the Institute's leadership development curriculum includes offerings from NetSpeed Leadership™, a leading provider of management training programs.  We are conducting a brief research survey to help us plan our 2005 product offerings.

As a token of appreciation for filling out a brief, online survey, we will give you a coffee card (for use at your choice of java locations).

In addition, if you qualify, NetSpeed Leadership will offer you at no cost a NetSpeed Leadership half-day training session facilitated by a certified NetSpeed consultant (a $2500 value).

Our NetSpeed Leadership offerings include 22 half-day training modules followed by web-based performance support and measurement tools.

The survey takes less than one minute to complete. Just go to:

URL: www.netspeedleadership.com/research04

Research code: 104-174

Password: expanding

Please understand that your participation in this survey incurs no obligation on your part. (We have a strict policy of never sharing our customer information with anyone.) To receive your coffee card and learn how you can qualify for your complimentary NetSpeed Leadership training session, please go online and submit your completed survey by September 17, 2004.

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Stay in Touch!

Horizon Time is written by Andy Kaufman and is available via e-mail or on the Web for all who register.  You are invited to forward this to anyone interested in growing their leadership skills!


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You can contact Andy by phone toll-free at (866) 88 I-LEAD (866-884-5323), or by e-mail at andy@i-leadonline.com.

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