Aug 162010
 
Share

Supporting your employees is important, but don’t support them too much.  Mac, one of my most important mentors, has a sign on his door, which says, “go away”.  It’s not because he’s a bad person or because he doesn’t care, in fact, to the contrary, he cares a lot.  But he has a lot of demands on his time (as I’m sure you do) and he doesn’t want his team to be lazy in their communications with him.  Mac’s approach always forced me (and others who wanted to speak with him more than once) to be prepared and to be very efficient in my communications with him.  I knew deep down that he’d give me as much time as I needed, but the reality was, most of the time, if I thought through the issues in advance, I didn’t really need much of his time at all.  Typically I would show up with a quick summary of the facts, offer a few potential solutions and my recommendation, and then wait for about a minute while Mac processed the data and gave me his opinion.  Busy people don’t have time to waste, and often the only way to compel your various constituencies to communicate efficiently, is to treat them with tough love.  Some people misinterpret this approach and are offended by it, but in my experience, that tends to be the group that doesn’t “get it” anyway.  Time is the one resource you cannot replenish; don’t waste it with people who don’t have their act together..

Share