7+1 Mistakes Most Managers Make           &Lose Their Sleep at Night     Michalis Kourtidis, BA, MA, Chartered MCIPD
LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.                          Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!                                      Bi...
3LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
© 2012 Michalis KourtidisThe right of Michalis Kourtidis to be identified as the author of this work is asserted world-wid...
"The issue is where your eyes meet the sky from.                                             I’ve seen it right from the m...
Table of ContentsRationale…………………………………………………………………………4The Mistakes…………………………………………………………………….6  The most critical of them...
RationaleOf the most frequent discussions I’m having lately with senior managers and topexecutives who work in almost all ...
try to speak a foreign language and even though you know you should use pastperfect your tongue goes to past simple! And i...
The Mistakes    1. You take things too personally     Case 1. Your PA comes in your office telling you that you’ll possibl...
presentation the president says that although figures look OK the             company is still failing to position itself ...
Also, fear of failure usually prevents you from developing the right relations with     your colleagues. Sometimes you may...
sophisticated this is, it needs someone to administer and supervise it.             You pick Mary as an employee who will ...
Case 5. You have decided to follow a new course on leadership development          based on emotional intelligence. Howeve...
work with, inevitably you won’t trust them any more for their ability to serve your    company. Lack of people trust then ...
properly folded, towels are in place, lighting is turned on as required, etc.             You’re finally overwhelmed with ...
managers of all industries keep complaining that they can’t manage their time    properly. What is the matter? What goes w...
Case 10. You’ve made all the calculations right, booked the big hall for the          presentation, prepared the speech an...
Very often, capable managers are carried away by their ability to analyse all      possible options of a project and leave...
in your business – but also in your personal – life. You went back to work             lighter than before and promised yo...
Questioning traditional ways of doing things is a skill very often ignored.      Remember the days of adolescence when you...
7. You avoid discussions on problems – procrastinate      Case 13. The President of the company asks you to collect all ne...
over the years. We simply need to try harder…” Although your valued             people tell you to sit around the table an...
…we are so tied up to our habitual traditions, which we don’t want to move      away         from them.      There are so ...
The Most Critical of Them All    Of all the 7 mistakes mentioned above none is unavoidable, but none is    unexpected too....
expectations of you. You get a sense of the high responsibility you’re      attributed with. No matter how comfortable you...
so far and you can’t ask for anyone’s help? I’d personally be puzzled and sad      all day!      If you managed to overcom...
Possibilities & BenefitsImagine yourself being a senior manager and able to easily distinguish betweenobjective facts and ...
Indeed, I can verify it myself, putting off your grey suit and putting on your humanecostume pays big dividends at work. I...
Understanding what’s behind those questions brings you closer to self-awareness.Professionals who are self-aware of their ...
What to do?Easily said, but hard to do! In practice it is evident that time and time again,although you know what you shou...
Having uncovered, understood and decided to move forward following acertain path, you take charge of your actions. You run...
Who’s the author?Michalis Kourtidis BA (Hons), MA, Chartered MCIPDManaging Director, ExecCoach & HR Consultant            ...
He enjoys the peace of a long lasting marriage with Persephone and a family life with 2children.                          ...
LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.                          Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!                 Reg. Office: 582-586 Ki...
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7+1 Mistakes Managers Make and Lose their Sleep at Night

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  • Thank you Matzika de Spell!
    Η αλήθεια είναι ότι δε ζήτησα να γίνει publicly γνωστό, αλλα μάλλον το κάνει αυτόματα. Μια δοκιμή έκανα για να δω πως ανεβαίνει. Θα το αντικαταστήσω σύντομα με την τελική του μορφή. Πρέπει να βγάλω το background της σελίδας για δεν το παίρνει καλά. Το εχω δώσει για διορθώσεις γραμματικες και εκφραστικές και θα το ρετουσαρω λίγο ακόμη. Overall όμως πιστεύω ότι θα κάνει τη δουλειά που θέλω. Το website αλλάζει κι αυτό και γενικά αλλάζω πολλά.
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    Ο Ελύτης είναι φάρος που θαυμάζω. Μου το μετέδωσε για πρώτη φορά η μητέρα μου βλέπεις όταν με δέος και σεβασμό παρακολουθούσαμε από την ασπρόμαυρη τηλεόραση την απονομή του βραβείου Νόμπελ το 79, αφήνοντας στην άκρη ό,τι άλλο κάναμε εκείνη την ώρα... Έπιασε ο σπόρος!
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7+1 Mistakes Managers Make and Lose their Sleep at Night

  1. 1. 7+1 Mistakes Most Managers Make &Lose Their Sleep at Night Michalis Kourtidis, BA, MA, Chartered MCIPD
  2. 2. LERIO CONSULTING Ltd. Helps People’s Potential Stand Out! Birmingham, UK 2LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  3. 3. 3LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  4. 4. © 2012 Michalis KourtidisThe right of Michalis Kourtidis to be identified as the author of this work is asserted world-wide. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may beproduced, stored or transmitted in any form by any means, electrical, mechanical or otherwise without the prior written consent of the author. 4LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  5. 5. "The issue is where your eyes meet the sky from. I’ve seen it right from the middle of the sea.” -- Odysseus Elytis (Nobel in Poetry, 1979) [The obvious is limitless, if you’re prepared to look at it that way] 5LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  6. 6. Table of ContentsRationale…………………………………………………………………………4The Mistakes…………………………………………………………………….6 The most critical of them all………………………………………………..19Possibilities & Benefits………………………………………………………..21What to do?.............................................................................................25Who’s the author?.…………………………………………………………….27Bio……………………………………………………………………………….24 6LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  7. 7. RationaleOf the most frequent discussions I’m having lately with senior managers and topexecutives who work in almost all kind of industries, one is recurring:“I have so many critical decisions to make every day; that’s too stressful… I musthave forgotten something … and the next day there’s always more to come…”That creates a daily worrying feeling that’s enough to keep you awake at night,doesn’t it? Especially in days of economic turbulence people expect you as amanager to know and control and direct everything from A to Z, to keep costsdown and profits up every year, quarter, month, week if possible. Isn’t that soburning?And then every single source of advice you read on books and magazines tellsyou:…be resilient…be tolerant…be relentless…be organised…as if you were not aware of what was needed already. How would you havemanaged to climb the career ladder then if you didn’t possess those qualitiesalready?However, oftentimes you are pushed by forces you can’t explain easily to do theexact opposite of what your knowledge and experience tells you to; like when you 7LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  8. 8. try to speak a foreign language and even though you know you should use pastperfect your tongue goes to past simple! And it’s this feeling of “remorse” – theErinnyes – that revolves in when daylight’s gone and bedtime is coming. Obviously,the more critical the decision, the bigger the “remorse” becomes.The purpose of this report is not to analyse my thoughts in detail; I could write aseparate book on each one of them if I were to go deeper. Rather it is to make youseriously think the things you could do differently and would change your businessand personal life forever. Then, realising how much better your life could be ifchanged, decide to take charge of yourself and change!I’ve listed and categorised the 7 most important people management mistakes Ibelieve active managers make. They are presented through real cases I’ve comeacross during my 15 years in management consultancy and follow a sequence ofthought to make understanding easier. This sequence begins from the outside andleads to the inside of human behaviour. The reason I did that is because it’s easierto first observe what’s happening on the outside – what sort of attitudes andbehaviours you show towards people – and then go backwards and inwardsfollowing and exploring the path towards your inner self. Ultimately, what’shappening inside governs the attitudes and behaviours you project onto others.At the end of the list I’ve added the most crucial mistake a lot of managers tend tomake which largely affects their decision to either keep oppressing themselves orjump on the other bank of the river. I’d think that reading those lines would set youthinking on what you lose and what you could gain by following a different path.Let’s take things from the beginning then… 8LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  9. 9. The Mistakes 1. You take things too personally Case 1. Your PA comes in your office telling you that you’ll possibly miss the meeting with the Regional Sales Manager. That’s because the latest telephone call with a company’s major supplier lasted much longer than expected. You immediately think that comment was a direct blame to you because you’re out of touch with business schedules. You tell your PA off for talking to you like that, explain how important that call was and ill- humoured tell her never to do that again. You then order her to rearrange the meeting with the regional sales manager; you also emphatically let her know that it’s her responsibility to achieve it and should do everything in her power to make it happen! …You then carry on sorting papers on your desk and completing a spreadsheet on your laptop in a rush. The woman leaves the office with a bowed head and what can be interpreted as a sad expression in her face; she was lost in …interpretation! A few hours later you see her through the office window and think to yourself: “I’m such an idiot! Why did I talk to her like that?” Case 2. You’ve just finished working on a demanding 6-month project to raise the profile of your company and gain a number of new clients. Results show you’ve ticked all boxes and quotas have been reached. You stand in front of the board of directors to present your work. The directors are listening carefully, but look expressionless. After finishing the 9LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  10. 10. presentation the president says that although figures look OK the company is still failing to position itself as No1 of the competition! More things need to be done. You immediately feel intimidated and like you’re being blamed for doing an inadequate job. You think you’re not worth enough, at least not as much as the “significant others” expect of you. You leave the room with your head and spirits down. When you go home you sit on the couch and think: “Am I mad? I’m devastated as if I’ve failed my task! As if the president was blaming the company’s failure on me! What’s wrong with me?” In both cases you perceived interpretations as realities. Interpretations however are by definition subjective. Consequently, they are influenced by a number of …thoughts and ideas, …beliefs, …temporary dispositions, …habits, …pressures, …knowledge and …negligence. Very often being over stressed – due to critical decisions you have to take – means preventing reality from smacking you in the face when you need it. What happens is that reality’s place is taken by perceived facts as they serve your need to be either victimised or excused. Same way, when you’re anxious about the outcome of your work and your image, reality becomes distorted; you subsequently fail to understand and interpret important information appropriately. 10LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  11. 11. Also, fear of failure usually prevents you from developing the right relations with your colleagues. Sometimes you may appear too friendly, while some other times too polemic and confrontational. Again, the consequence is a distorted view of what’s happening. In all cases, one of the main reasons why you take things too personally is because …you think all facets of interaction affect your being …you put yourself in the centre of attention that being either positive or negative. However, deep down in your psyche, you know that not everything in your office revolves around you, don’t you? 2. You work with the wrong people Case 3. High season is approaching. Orders have started coming in the company. If you don’t hire someone to organise the stock house immediately the depot will be submerged by products you won’t be able to handle. Trying to be efficient you ask your friends for names of people they know who could do the job. You hire the first one who comes your way in and let him work on the task of organising the stock house. A few weeks later you realise what you wish you didn’t have to: the new hire was a disaster! Moreover, time has gone by… and you’re in the middle of high season; not much that can be corrected… To cover losses, you end up doing his job for him! Your main job as a manager is neglected. Case 4. Mary has been working for the company for many years. She is loyal and effective. You hardly remember occasions when you or other colleagues had to chastise her for some of her work. New logistics technology has been adopted by the company lately. However 11LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  12. 12. sophisticated this is, it needs someone to administer and supervise it. You pick Mary as an employee who will certainly do her best to respond. There’s nothing indicating that she could successfully move from her administrative duties to a demanding supervisory role, but you trust your instinct and her history as an employee and appoint her Logistics Supervisor. A few months later the distribution system is in a mess and workers complain about bad communication. Whatsmore, Mary decides to resign from her post as she feels unable to cope. As a result, you are left with neither a Logistics Supervisor nor with an effective Administrative Assistant. You’ve already lost valuable time, a lot of personal time and used up all even remotely possible alternative actions to cover the losses. Corrective actions are neither adequate nor should be used as quick remedy. The company loses money. It’s a very common belief among managers that anyone can do anything. That’s been proved a myth several times so far. There’s enough evidence that people will do effectively only what they are inclined to do in terms of their preferences, skills, behaviours, knowledge, and interests. In other words, as I heard by Peter Thomson, “people won’t be what they aren’t.” It’s surprising though how easily you may forget that once your gut feeling tells you “I like this person! Hire them, they’ll do fine… you’ll see… You won’t regret it!”. You feel like you need to listen to that inside voice, because otherwise you wouldn’t trust your ability to make decisions …and this is intolerable for your pride. Now, after seeing the unfortunate results of your choices you might think “Why on earth did I have to hire that person? Why didn’t I double check their fit-ability to avoid disappointment and keep a peaceful mind?”. 3. You don’t trust your employees 12LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  13. 13. Case 5. You have decided to follow a new course on leadership development based on emotional intelligence. However, you try to keep this personal initiative secret by even asking your trainer not to discuss it with anyone, because you trust no one; rumors travel fast… You’re afraid that if anyone hears about you attending a leadership development programme, everyone will find out about it and imagine that the reason for going is because you’re not a good leader. You whisper Franklin Roosevelt’s words to your trainer: “to keep a secret that three people know, two of them must be dead!” You sleep uneasily with that thought in mind. Case 6. A new key account is very close to signing an agreement with your company. If everything runs smoothly the account will contribute to approximately 5% of the annual revenue. After listening to the briefing by the sales and marketing team and all the facts and figures by the financial manager who analysed them in detail, you announce that from now on you will take the lead in any future negotiations with the future client. Your managers feel intimidated and leave the room murmuring. You receive vibes that they will hardly be engaged to you again. You even hear a couple of them at the car park saying “Why does he pay us to lead if he didn’t trust our ability to lead?” While reflecting on the above cases and others similar to them try to remember how many times you’ve offered your precious time to listen, understand, respond to your valued employees and give a pat on the back when deserved. What sort of feedback have they received from you lately? When did you start giving them meaningful feedback and if you did, how long has it been since the last time you did? If you stop caring about your staff, eventually you’ll lose sight of their capabilities and stop believing in them. If you don’t believe in the people you 13LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  14. 14. work with, inevitably you won’t trust them any more for their ability to serve your company. Lack of people trust then creates feelings of isolation. Well, whose professional future do you think is at risk? Yours which lacks supporters or theirs who collegiate against the common ungrateful “oppressor” – you? It’s also useful to ask yourself the following: of all your employees how many do you trust in your organisation? It’s most likely that you only work closely with a couple of them. Rest assured this is visible to the rest. As a result, you prevent them from proving themselves what they can achieve for the company and their clients, for their team and for their own career. What’s more, they’ll never consist of a working team, committed to run the extra mile for you! By saying “for their own career” too, I refer to the fact that naturally, if capable employees don’t develop their skills, upgrade their knowledge and are not updated in the field of their profession, no doubt they will look for work elsewhere. You’ll then lose talented workforce who – if supported and trusted – could offer their 100% towards improving the organisation. If you don’t trust them, you and the company simply lose. If you don’t give them the opportunity to show how they can make a difference in your company, they’ll probably make a difference in the company down the road. 4. You think troubleshooting is an imperative Case 7. Your housekeeping manager resigned from your hotel last month. The #2 in the team is a tough, capable, promising but inexperienced person. You decide to give her the opportunity to lead housekeeping. Because you’re afraid there will be mistakes which may ruin your 5* hotel’s reputation, you put daily close housekeeping supervision by you as a priority on your task schedule. You mix your strategic tasks; budget responsibilities; overseeing profits; setting and adjusting hotel’s KPIs; weekly meetings with the executive managers to monitor achievements and targets, ...with touring around rooms to check if bed linen are 14LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  15. 15. properly folded, towels are in place, lighting is turned on as required, etc. You’re finally overwhelmed with all the decisions you have to make every day; normal working hours are just never enough to help you finish your jobs. Your dear friend, who’s a management consultant, tells you to stop controlling the day-to-day operations and free time for your core business which is the management of the hotel. You reply indignantly: “If I don’t check it myself every day, nothing will get done around here!” Your friend leaves the room by saying: “Well my friend, I think you’re wrong; you’ve mixed up your roles here. Please think again”. Case 8. The most common complain you make to your closest peers about your job is that there’s just too many things to do which can’t fit in a 24hr day! You talk to one of your friends saying that you have to sort out the business strategy of the company, make sure its image is sustained at the highest levels, think about and lead changes in the company, whilst members of staff knock on your door to solve their personal disagreements. They are not able to deal with simple things. At that moment you receive a call by your key accounts executive, asking you to talk to a customer who claims that he’s not being treated well by the company and wants to speak to the manager. You turn to your friend huffing: “There, you see? What did I just tell you? This thing’s killing me!” Many management specialists would say that dealing with micro-management closely results in you losing sight of strategic aspect of being a general manager. Others might say that this is due to bad time management and organisation skills. I’ve also heard valid relative comments stating that multi- tasking usually results in mixing up the important with the unimportant tasks. They are all good arguments. But even those arguments are rooted in the internal beliefs of the person. Aren’t you surprised by the fact that the most widely sold training seminar in the world is “Time Management”? However, 15LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  16. 16. managers of all industries keep complaining that they can’t manage their time properly. What is the matter? What goes wrong? Dealing with troubleshooting at work instead of letting others deal with it, is the tip of the iceberg. Ask yourself: “How did I end up in this executive position? What’s my purpose? What target do I set for myself and for the others I work with? Where do I need to focus most?” There’s a lot to be done in order to learn to focus first and then to decide what you need to focus on. Once this is achieved, skies will be your limit. 5. You neglect the impact emotions have on people’s behaviours Case 9. Your new product has just been launched and immediate promotional actions need to be taken in order to let people know about its existence. Your Marketing Management team decides to conduct a direct phone call campaign along with other means of below-the-line marketing initiatives. As time is precious you don’t have the luxury to hire additional workforce to undertake the task of calling customers to sell the concept of the new product. Existing staff from the sales & marketing teams sounds like a good resource. Unfortunately, a couple of them don’t do well and fail to reach their phone call quotas; in fact they are hesitant to make the calls at all and every time they pick up the phone their hands tremble and their voice doesn’t come out easily. You monitor their performance and call them in your office. You express your disappointment and use the word “unproductive” several times. Finally, as a good manager that you are, you tell them how much you believe in them and you’re sure that this underperformance won’t happen again… The people leave your office puzzled – did he understand what the real problem was? Next week their performance is even lower. You can’t understand why. You’re ready to believe these two employees sabotage the new product because they don’t believe in it. 16LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  17. 17. Case 10. You’ve made all the calculations right, booked the big hall for the presentation, prepared the speech and invited every member of the company to attend and learn about the re-structuring of the organisation. After long tiring meetings, hard work and serious consideration of possible drawbacks the new plan is in place. You can’t think of anyone who could raise disagreements. “Lean organisation” is the new stake. Departments are being merged together; managers change positions; work teams are reshuffled; and customer service becomes centralised to serve the efficiency of the organisation. Change is well justified from every business angle. You announce the new plan with great enthusiasm, use fancy colours on the big screen, explain the technical aspects, present all the facts and figures in detail, and expect every attendant to buy in, because this is …right… You’re surprised that applause is not warm! You can’t explain why there’s murmuring at the audience. Suddenly, a few hands are raised and your secretary gives people the permission to ask questions. Comments are not what you’d expected… Their main point is that the new structure destroys the family atmosphere of the company and alienates people. New games of trust need to come into play which is something that scares people, especially those who have worked for the company for a number of years. Having listened to these worries, you almost close your ears and respond one- dimensionally: “Your worries are not grounded anywhere; such changes have worked successfully elsewhere and it will work for us too! After all it is imperative that we adapt to current economic turbulence; this is the right thing to do and we will all work towards this purpose. I personally believe in it!” Because of your reply you didn’t achieve any connection between you and your workforce. Unfortunately, the change project went astray and moral dropped… 17LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  18. 18. Very often, capable managers are carried away by their ability to analyse all possible options of a project and leave anything else aside. Think of the times you were entirely devoted to hard calculations and forgot significance of soft decisions. Emotions are embedded in all decisions where human interaction plays a central role. Ignoring that factor means risking success of your applications. You may be perfectly competent for your ability to manage machines, buildings, procedures and operations, but you’re unlikely to succeed in it unless you manage to give your people your undivided attention; understand their emotions, and develop a degree of relationship with them. It’s been proven in several occasions that connecting with your people creates foundation for higher performance levels …and saves your sleep! 6. You don’t think of the “ w h y s ” Case 11. Your agenda is always full of tasks to complete; you’ve got used to waking up in the morning and being busy from dusk to dawn. Sometimes your responsibilities even require you to take clients or colleagues out for a late evening business dinner. So, at the age of 45 you’ve learnt to work hard, follow your routines, eat at unstable times during the day, travel around the country and the world, spend a few hours with your family during the week, and you’re pleased with yourself, …when suddenly, your heart stops for a while and starts back again as normal. Your spouse forces you to see a doctor. Although you find it hard to take a sick leave for a couple of days and do the right health check-up exams, you finally agree to visit the hospital. Your medical examinations show your heart is still strong, but might easily be affected again by work overload. So, the doctor asks you a shocking question: “Why do you always have to work so many hours?” You had never thought of that before! Everything seemed all right till that moment! Your time off ill made you realise that you need help to discover why you do what you do 18LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  19. 19. in your business – but also in your personal – life. You went back to work lighter than before and promised yourself to spend time on constructive night-thoughts to enlighten your career and happiness. Case 12. Working on a challenging matter in your company, you called your executive managers in a problem solving meeting. You described the problem, deployed possible solutions, analysed the pros and cons of each of those solutions and finally picked the one which seemed most appropriate at that particular time. It was consistent, ticked all the boxes and followed models described in books. Being confident about your decision you applied the solution, but it didn’t work as expected. As a consequence, you gathered everyone around the “oval table” again and argued about what went wrong. Half of the attendants said it was the implementation which failed to meet with the right standards. Half suggested to abandon that solution; adopt the next one in the rank; solve the problem by communicating your decision better to everyone in the company; and make sure you all try even harder for a successful outcome. You finally agree to go with the second choice and started the engines immediately... After a couple of months you regretfully see no progress. You’re now extremely puzzled! Being a good and experienced manager, you decide to call your team in a new meeting and include your front-line management level into the thinking process. A young manager who has just graduated from an MBA course had learnt about Chris Argyris’ double-loop and triple loop learning in organizations and volunteered to ask the question: “Why do we all have to think that what’s happening is a problem to our company? We’ve seen that any solution we come up with eventually fights back. What if our company’s policy was wrongly set right from the beginning, resisting going along the culture of our organisation?” That was it! You perceived the problem differently and your mind shifted to an opposite direction. You led a new executive meeting which turned the problem solving process upside down and unblocked almost everyone’s ideas. That meeting set the beginning of a successful re-engineering process of your company. 19LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  20. 20. Questioning traditional ways of doing things is a skill very often ignored. Remember the days of adolescence when you’d question what your parents would ask you to do? You’d always come up with a novel idea of how to be alternative and authentic. The internal voice you’d hear was “Do I have to do it just because my mother tells me I should do it that way? Can’t it be done differently?” Through that process you identified your capabilities, your “wants”, your aspirations, and your originality. Where has this sense of exploration gone now? To go somewhere you first need to be clear on where you’re going. To answer that question you have to know where you stand. Finding your standpoint is a deep thought provoking process in which you delve into your mind and identify the “whys” of your decisions. There are several levels of unanswered whys that can keep you awake at night; it’s the why about  yourself and your career choices  the purpose of doing business  neglecting your personal well-being  being afraid of entering into conflict with others  traditional company policies  anything you habitually do and bothers you, but not tell Asking “why” you chose one thing over another helps you master your ability to live and work as professional who people trust and consult for their problems. Knowing where you stand makes you secure and happier. Are you willing to explore your answers? 20LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  21. 21. 7. You avoid discussions on problems – procrastinate Case 13. The President of the company asks you to collect all necessary information about productivity levels of your workforce and schedule a business meeting with him to discuss how you’ll improve performance of all members of the company. You promptly agree with the idea and promise to get back to him soon with a fixed meeting arrangement. However, you are shortly faced with work overload and critical decisions which can’t be delayed. Time goes by and you haven’t made any serious moves towards the task mentioned above. Deep down your mind, you believe that if you touch the issue of productivity in your organisation you’ll open the “Pandora’s box” and you’ll cause havoc; a lot of people will be exposed to the president, maybe even you! So, you subconsciously let it go with the wind, hoping that the big boss won’t bring it up again. Unfortunately, this worry plagues your thoughts 24/7, day and night, fearing the day the president will ask you about the progress of that task… Case 14. You’ve reached the end of 2nd Quarter of the year and your sales have shown a considerable drop. Your main channels of communication with your clients don’t seem to be effective any more; they don’t follow new market trends. You hear many arguments by your managers about the need to change traditional operations and become more modern, more progressive. Otherwise, sales results will prove a disaster at the second half of the year. You have listened to those arguments carefully and feel there’s still time to make important decisions for the future of the company. However, when you talk with each one of your managers alone, you consistently try to make them question the urgency of this change. “We’ve been successful with those communicational channels for so many years; they can’t be wrong now! Sales qualities don’t change 21LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  22. 22. over the years. We simply need to try harder…” Although your valued people tell you to sit around the table and discuss the matter seriously, you postpone doing it. You’ve now entered 4th Quarter and downturn is bigger than ever. Rumors questioning your ability to lead fill the corridors… I recently heard Brian Tracy – author of “The Focal Point” – saying in an interview that what matters most is what you do, not what you are. However, as many senior managers do, you often hide yourself behind your title and don’t take action whenever needed. Excuses are easily made-up; the most common one is: “think carefully before you act”. In practice though, you promptly turn it to: “think carefully and don’t act!” I’m sure that there have been times in the past when you had postponed decisions to do something of major importance for your company, your people, your life… We all have one way or another. Why is that? …we may be afraid to take charge when the challenge is big; …we feel we won’t be able to cope with what we are asked to do and we’ll get easily stressed; …we close our eyes to the problem and stubbornly refuse to admit it really exists; 22LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  23. 23. …we are so tied up to our habitual traditions, which we don’t want to move away from them. There are so many personal explanations why we let decisions and action snail, until stress levels reach maximum and we can’t do otherwise. But when we reach that stage, the pressure is so big that the outcome can’t be as good as it could have been. Review each one of those reasons for a while. They are all linked with our emotions and our willingness to control their balance. Emotions are king. Learning to deal with emotions leads to learning to deal with action successfully. One thing is for certain: you need to find the courage to explore your own reasons as to why you procrastinate. And then it’s like magic… A number of issues will find their right place in your mind and your actions. 23LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  24. 24. The Most Critical of Them All Of all the 7 mistakes mentioned above none is unavoidable, but none is unexpected too. There’s one key mistake though which may be the catalyst to tackle them all. However, being trapped in your managerial role you often avoid looking at it seriously, hence decide to take action. This inevitable leads you to a vicious circle where – like in the tale with the frog in a bucket with boiling water1 – you fail to see the changes that happen around you and the consecutive actions that you need to take. What’s that mistake then? +1 You don’t ask for help You are to a bigger or lesser extent an experienced manager especially in your industry or in general. You stand at the top of the hierarchy and others look at you and ask for guidance, solutions, advice, and your wisdom. In my consultancy experience, when I walk and talk with employees of the assembly or front line in a client organisation they often either tell me proudly that their line managers are their lighthouse or complain their line managers are a guarantee to misery. The same applies to general managers too. You see, you sit high enough for everyone to look at you and easily judge you by your actions, decisions, even the thoughts behind them. You are constantly exposed to everyone’s critique in and out of your organisation. Being a human who interacts with others and from that interaction you form your understanding of your being and of your world, you are affected by their1 This engaging little parable claims that if you plunge a frog into boiling water, it will immediatelyjump out. But if you put the frog into room temperature water, and then slowly heat the water toboiling, the frog doesnt realise whats happening and gets cooked to death.(http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2010/11/30/3080641.htm) 24LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  25. 25. expectations of you. You get a sense of the high responsibility you’re attributed with. No matter how comfortable you feel about that, deep down your heart you know that you can’t fail; people rely on you and simply can’t let them down. In other words, when your employees talk about their business you’re their main point of reference. But who’s your main point of reference? Are you allowed to make mistakes? According to whom? How would you know? Can you afford to? There’s no point presenting real-life cases of successful managers who at some stage in their career made serious mistakes in their decisions. You won’t even find one completely unerring! It’s natural. So, what do you do when you make a mistake? Influenced by your managerial role, you probably try to bring a reasonable excuse, minimise its importance, postpone any discussion about it and hide it. Does it ring any bells? You know that admitting your mistake diminishes your power over your employees; you need to look sound and solid in their eyes. However, you also know that your decision was indeed wrong. Because of your previous belief, you can’t ask for help from anyone. You see, you’re supposed to know and deal with anything that happens in your business. But by thinking that way there’s no way out… you’re trapped in your “must-be” image. That’s the most significant mistake managers make in their careers: hesitating to ask for help when necessary, because they’re afraid of losing face. At the same time this is the least effective thing they could do in practice. It ruins their ability to manage and lead and also badly affects their well-being. Honestly, could you sleep well at night if you knew you have to organise a significant change in your department, you’ve failed to take everyone on-board 25LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  26. 26. so far and you can’t ask for anyone’s help? I’d personally be puzzled and sad all day! If you managed to overcome that limiting belief and finally engage others in a beneficial dialogue, what would that offer you? …a different perspective perhaps; …a few aspects that could affect your decisions and had slipped off your mind; …some new pieces of information you had missed; …the impact of your choices onto others… Yes, you’re right! It’s not possible to test your understanding of things, hence make decisions, unless you talk about them, get a reaction for them and feel good working with them. Once you manage to engage in that interaction, you’ll soon realise that all answers are already in your mind, only they’re sleeping. To wake them up from that hibernation you need to liven and shake them up. If the people whom you interact with are skillful and follow a method that will shake you up you will not only bring your own answers to the surface, but you’ll also believe in them and apply them with confidence and assertiveness in your job. That’s the most demanding work you should do for yourself, but at the same time the most remunerating! 26LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  27. 27. Possibilities & BenefitsImagine yourself being a senior manager and able to easily distinguish betweenobjective facts and subjective interpretations. Knowing which comments aredirected to specific business functions or certain people and which to youpersonally, can strengthen your feelings of security and self assurance. It needs alot of work to learn how not to feel threatened.Working with the right people is such a relief for any manager. There’s enoughevidence showing that adopting the appropriate selection models, safely leads anyorganisation to employ people who will fit in perfectly well. • Behavioural and competency-based interviews • Psychometric tools • Simulation games • Targeted induction & orientation programmesare all excellent tools to use when hiring personnel. Of course they are subjected tointerpretations based on your own understanding of the organisation’s culture andworkforce dynamics, but that should by no means justify reliance on your gutfeelings or decisions under stress.A friend of mine who’s been an academic professor for 2 decades and hasconducted a series of researches on HR Quality Management had once told mewhile nodding his head: “There’s no other more powerful motivation a manager cangive their employees than an encouraging pat on their back!” 27LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  28. 28. Indeed, I can verify it myself, putting off your grey suit and putting on your humanecostume pays big dividends at work. It doesn’t at all mean that you lose yourprofessional image. On the contrary, in the eyes of your employees you reflect abalanced, mature and emotionally intelligent personality. As a result you’re morelikely to be listened to carefully, be respected and followed by people you manage.But you need to do a lot of work with yourself to make that happen.Being surrounded by people who value your decisions and whose initiatives youvalue means you trust they’ll perform well according to the policies and mentality ofthe organisation. In other words you as a whole will constitute the brain of theorganisation and you will rarely have to bother with troubleshooting again. You’ll bemind free to work on the strategic decisions you are paid for and direct thecompany you run. Your time will be optimised without even noticed!Enjoy the consequences of that… Taste the beauty of acknowledging your feelings.Relish the benefits of understanding the emotions behind your colleagues’behaviours, agreements or disagreements, enthusiasms or worries, contributionsor reluctances. By knowing that emotions govern actions, you’ll be able to exceedtheir expectations and respond to them timely, appropriately and successfully! Youneed exercise and persistence to reach that stage, but you’ll reach that point afterall.You’re only human, not super-human – no one is. You can’t have all the answers,but you may find them with the support of others. You deserve a try. This effortrequires sincere moments of truth to give yourself answers to the “why” questions;to understand…what the driving forces behind your attitudes are;…what the impediments that hold you back every time you try to make a step forward are;…why you only trust certain people and fear to trust others at work or in your personal life;…why you’ve stopped showing your feelings to others reflecting a fearful image to people;…why you find it hard to say “no”… 28LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  29. 29. Understanding what’s behind those questions brings you closer to self-awareness.Professionals who are self-aware of their motivations are more likely to distinguishbetween…what they should and shouldn’t do;…what they should and shouldn’t say;…what to give priority to and what to leave for later;…who to trust and who to avoid and why.The most important of them all for their managerial role is that now they are mostlikely to decide what’s best for the business and what’s not, because they can nowunderstand the world outside themselves better. 29LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  30. 30. What to do?Easily said, but hard to do! In practice it is evident that time and time again,although you know what you should do to unblock yourself, you finally end uprepeating your mistakes and doing the same things over and over again. Thepower of routine is supreme! But what does it make routine unbeatable? What sortof habits are those you think you can’t change? Where do they derive from? Howcan you possibly change them?LERIO CONSULTING’s approach identifies the root causes of what bothersyou. We follow Aristotle’s belief that we should always look for thefundamentals, understand them, accept and then handle appropriately.Usually what we see and think we change in our behaviours are likeornaments on a Christmas tree. Even if we remove them all from the tree, thetree will still be in place. Therefore, we need to identify the complete figure of thetree. Even so, we may need to understand why the tree has to stand in our livingroom during Christmas; for ultimately this may not really be necessary for us butimposed by others, which we may not feel comfortable with… We call this phase“Mirror”.In our approach we are both alternative and brave. We follow Plato’smove away from traditional ways of doing things, towards revealed andunobscured behaviours. This move helps you discover the right path foryou that suits you most. We’re ready to turn things upside down, put everything infront of you for an open discussion and decide on the actions that need to be taken.We call this phase “Table”. 30LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  31. 31. Having uncovered, understood and decided to move forward following acertain path, you take charge of your actions. You run the course youmapped out, test the outcomes on you, feel pain, relief, losses, victoriesand receive constant feedback by someone who supports you all the waythrough, your coach. We call this phase the “Running Track”.This is the MTR approach.There is a fundamental requirement to the MTR approach – as with all coachingapproaches:To get help,…you need to want to be helped –…or else no one can help.Now that you’ve seen how you may sleep better at nights, will you dare to try andunleash your full potential? Leave me a message and I’ll personally get in touchwith you soon for a discussion. Michalis Kourtidis BA Hons Psych, MA in OB, MCIPD Executive Coach & Consultant 31LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  32. 32. Who’s the author?Michalis Kourtidis BA (Hons), MA, Chartered MCIPDManaging Director, ExecCoach & HR Consultant Michalis is a graduate in Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology from University of Ioannina, Greece and holds a Masters degree in Organisational Analysis & Behaviour from Lancaster University, UK. His interest in counseling also led him to a postgraduate certificate in School Counseling Psychology. His long involvement with Assessment Tools in Business brought him close to the worldwide leader in psychometrics Profiles International Inc., Waco, TX. Michalis is still authorised partner of Profiles and very proficient in applying and interpreting results of their assessments for the benefitof business organisations and individuals. He has over 12 years of teaching in public andprivate HE Institutions in the UK and abroad and is an Assoc.Fellow of HEA. Since2010 hes been working as an Associate Lecturer in Oxford Brookes University, Faculty ofBusiness, teaching a range of topics in HRM and People Management. He also got hisCharter Membership of CIPD in 2011; his research project was awarded a distinction.Michalis worked in services and sales for three multinational organisations for six yearsand achieved great results. He has worked as a Management Consultant since 1998 withkey areas of work being Career Consultancy, Performance Management, Management byAssessments, Selection and Human Resource Management. He has worked inchallenging projects for the private and public sector. The majority of clients come from theHospitality Industry. Small, medium and big hotel organisations of national andinternational importance have been served by Michalis and his partners.Executive Coaching plays a significant role in his pallet of services and this is where hehas gained high reputation so far. He is well known for his personal and philosophicalapproach and for the smooth way he challenges his executive clients. Michalis is a strongbeliever of humans good and positive nature and always tries to make others see theirworld through that prism. 32LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  33. 33. He enjoys the peace of a long lasting marriage with Persephone and a family life with 2children. 33LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!
  34. 34. LERIO CONSULTING Ltd. Helps People’s Potential Stand Out! Reg. Office: 582-586 Kingsbury Rd. Birmingham B24 9ND, UK Correspondence: 6 Augustus Rd. Birmingham B15 3NB, UK Company Number: 8039934 0121.247.52.69 ● 077.22.333.114 http://www.LerioConsulting.co.uk michalis@LerioConsulting.co.uk 34LERIO CONSULTING Ltd.Helps People’s Potential Stand Out!

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