Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Best Management Practice

I just started subscribing to the WSJ recently in order to get information from "official journalists". I noticed two interesting articles on the WSJ regarding how to manage your employees and how to recruit executive talent.

The first article is great since it acknowledges you need to focus on the individuals that do all the work. However, I think it does not emphasize how you motivate people. Some people say you can motivate people by paying them a great deal of money or showing them a promising career path, but I think that is just wrong. If you have employees that are worried only about compensation or career growth, you have a fundamental issue in your organization. You need to make sure people are passionate about what they are working on, or understand how big an impact they are making on your organization. All individuals regardless of rank should always feel they are making an impact. People say you can only make a significant impact in small companies, but I think that is just an excuse. You can make a big impact in a larger company it just takes a bit more effort to make it happen. More importantly, if an individual is making an impact in your organization they are obviously going to get compensated appropriately so their concerns around monetary compensation or career growth opportunities become less of an issue.

I think the article about inflating titles with "Chief" is just demoralizing to employees that do all the work. There are obviously some game changing individuals in each industry for whom no title can do them justice. For the individuals that are not game changers, if they are not passionate about your organization why try to recruit them by inflating their title. Regardless of their rank, they need to feel passionate about the cause and want to join your corporation. More importantly, title inflation demoralizes individuals lower on the totem pole and complicates matters years down the road as organizations mature.

I may have said you need to be "passionate about your job" one too many times, but I think that is truly the key to motivation. If you are a manager and you are passionate, your enthusiasm is going to rub off on folks. If you are an individual contributor and you love what you do, you are going to do a kick ass job. If you have an enthusiastic workplace, everything will fall into place nicely and you can through the "how to manage" books out the door.

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