New Management Position? Avoid Quick Win Traps



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Leadership > Best Practices > New Management Position? Avoid Quick Win Traps

New Management Position? Avoid Quick Win Traps
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Of course, realizing quick wins is important when you're in a new management job. By doing so you reassure your boss or stakeholders that they made the right promotion / hiring decision, you convince your employees that they can have confidence in you, and you show to your colleagues that an equal has joined their ranks.
But Mark van Buren and Todd Safferstone have found through a large-scale survey that there are 5 frequent traps on the way to a quick win, leading to what they call a "quick-win paradox":
1. Focus too heavily on the details
2. React negatively to criticism
3. Intimidate others
4. Jump to hasty conclusions
5. Micromanage direct reports
In general, van Buren and Safferstone recommend to shift your focus from creating individual quick wins to creating collective quick wins. This advise makes sense being a manager. After all your primary job is to make your people successful.
Source: The Quick Wins Paradox, HBR Jan 2009, p. 54-61.

Quick Win Paradox
Ashok A kella, Finance Manager, India, Member
True, no companion will give you a walk over or smooth ride, still those who manage earliest break through, get recognition and followers in the organisation. You can be a winner through optimising the use of your team.

Short to Long Term
Yes, individual to collective is true, at the same time the 5 traps are short lived. Think and act for long term be part of the team. Support, monitor and celebrate the team win.

New Management Position
I lived that New Management position and I found that listening and asking a few questions to understand those who work for you and those you work for is key in the first 6 months of a new mgmt position. People don't always want you to solve their problems, they want you to listen and let them bounce off ideas to see that they are managing situations correctly or fairly. Being positive, non confrontational and seeing the big picture is key.

Shifting Management Focus from Individual to Collective Not Always Good
I am not fully satisfied with this. According to me in order to be successful you need to be situational: it is not always true that only teamwork matters, your individual efforts also matter a lot. If you think that only by motivating your subordinates you will make it, this is not always true. To win something in your life you also have to put your best to get something in life.

Leadership Success depends on Team
Leadership success nowadays is a one way ticket, where the leader talks and talks, sets his goal and gets it done by his team. His ability to get accepted as a leader depends on how his team delivers.

Quick Win Paradox
Muhammad Azhar Sajjad, CEO, Pakistan, Member
I agree to be a successful leader one should shift focus from creating individual quick wins to creating team quick wins. Hence the leader should avoid the five frequent traps on the way to quick win.

Quick Wins
Michael D. Moore, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
It is a blind spot for many companies to seek quick results. Some are pressured into it, others are blind to the negative long term effects.

Leadership must have their Ears on the Ground
Bosede Abiola Adetifa, Manager, Australia, Member
I totally agree with most of the comments so far. To lead effectively, your ears must be on the ground to hear what people are saying. Know the expectations and limitations and share knowledge. Build capacity and you will be surprised at what you can get from those you probably think have nothing to offer.

Individual AND Collective
Bosede Abiola Adetifa, Manager, Australia, Member
'Unless we join forces and recognize each other's humanity, how can we do business together, let alone make progress?' (Daniel Lubetzky, Forbes quote). @Charu, I believe in individuality AND collectiveness as well. Sometimes you may have an idea and may not know how to put the idea into action, so you need the support of others who are good in that area. Others may have better ideas than yours and may not share it with you if you are not a so good leader who listen. So there is difference between manageable and optimum. What I am saying in essence is, be a good leader not a boss to get the best out of your team.

Leadership Radar Vision
Gregory Johnson, Coach, United States, Premium Member
I agree with the conversation and would add that Authentic Leaders, not managers, incorporate a "Radar Vision", no matter what the situation. It could be a new setting or job environment or the existing setting. The Radar Vision incorporates the management of the 5 steps and much more.
The agenda should always be to arrive at an effective success point versus a quick win. Remember to engage the support team to accelerate GREAT outcomes. With knowledgeable team members pushing in the same direction, the goals can be reached in lightening speed.
Remember: SPEED kills! Don't destroy a solid task by rushing to a conclusion you may need to return to correct the errors made along the way.


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