Why managers do not blame themselves

How often has something gone wrong at work, and the last person you have blamed is yourself?

Or, to rephrase: You reprimand yourself along the lines: “I should never have let so-and-so do……. etc etc”. But even then, you are still implicitly putting the onus on somebody else.

Let’s take a moment for a reality check. I’ll shall start by calling in managers of human resources. I recently found a fascinating analysis as to why employees do not perform at 100% capability. Under 6 headings, the reasons are: –

  • Can’t – because they are unsuited
  • What? – nobody communicated the task properly
  • How? – nobody explained the tools
  • Why? – a.k.a. motivation issue
  • Expectations – predetermined levels on the side of the employer
  • Insubordination – on the side of the worker

The bad news for management is that of the six categories, only the last one is the fault or direct responsibility of the employee. The rest lie in the mandate of the superior. Ouch!

And f you do not agree, take any situation of the past few months, and ask yourself some hard questions about your own role.

Marketing guys – it’s your turn now. How many of you in the past year have said: “It’s the recession”? Well if that was the case, Walmart, M&S,  Boeing, et al would have all shut up shop by now, or severely downsized. Oh VPs of Sales and Marketing, what are you not seeing?

Have a look at LEADTRACK. For 30 years up to 2009, their market research continues to reveal that:

More than 50% of qualified leads are never worked by sales.
Less than 50% of a sales persons time is spent selling.
80% of trade show leads are never followed up.

As the article concludes, you cannot blame the economy if: –

•Your reps spend the majority of their time in non-sales activities
•More than half of your costly qualified leads are never worked by sales
•80% of your trade show leads are never followed up

In fact, in today’s Israeli newspaper, I have read that “Rami Levy”, a small grocery chain, is about to launch a major expansion programme. The CEO has identified a niche market that receives few dedicated resources, and that is where he is investing his reserves of cash. 

I leave you managers with one question. Next time something goes wrong and it is in your domain, how honest will you be when analysing who mucked things up and why?

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