Literature Review: Best Management Practices
What are the best front-line management practices?
Here’s what I found from looking over fifty current management
books and numerous articles. --Jay
We found that exemplary leaders:
· excel in times of dramatic change
· are good role models for followers
· build and coach enthusiastic teams
· leverage the power of people
· continuously improve performance
· feel personally empowered
leaders thrive on change. They open people’s eyes to marketplace
realities and convert higher-level objectives into actionable
priorities for everyone in the organization. They do whatever
works, based on the situation.
· inspire others with the power and excitement
of their vision
· give people a sense of purpose and pride
in their work
· focus on results, not activities
· redefine the bottom line to include developing
· replace one-time events with ongoing processes
· assume they have authority until told otherwise
· differentiate good failures from shoddy
· see opportunity where others see trouble
· hire fantastic people.
greater the change, the more change agents you’ll need.
leaders complete the same sales and service training as followers
so they can serve as role models by “walking the talk.”
seek to build lasting, profitable relationships with customers.
They understand that today’s customer is seeking value, not
lowest price. They realize that customers don’t buy products;
they buy expectations of how the product will make them feel.
Effective leaders can tell a potentially profitable relationship
from a losing one.
sales people build relationships around customers’ life events.
They manage local customer opportunities one-by-one. They don’t
dehumanize customers by thinking of them as “local markets.”
coaches expect more of their people than they think they can
possibly achieve. If the coach believes that people can do more,
their people expect more from themselves.
· listen more than they talk
· celebrate progress
· manage by getting out of the way
· identify and measure what counts
· focus on outcomes
· quantify in profit language
· continually raise the bar
The performance of followers rises or falls
to meet leaders’ expectations. People aspire to excel, love
to learn, are intrinsically motivated, and respond to challenge.
Leaders motivate by giving ownership of processes and their
outcomes. They liberate people to do what is required of them.
· tap into their people’s innate desire to
· engage their people’s hearts and minds
· help people believe in the importance of
· build commitment by showing how each person’s
work links directly to the delivery of value to the customer.
· share information (because “An individual
without information cannot take responsibility; an individual
with information cannot help but take responsibility.”  )
· get everyone to perform above expectations
· give others the gift of space, space to
be what one can be
· trust their followers to do what it right
· promote constructive controversy to reach
· help followers manage stress
· motivate followers with achievement, recognition,
responsibility, and growth for advancement
· create an environment of appreciation and
leaders take responsibility for developing the skills of followers.
They train every day. They structure on-job learning and feedback
because people remember 90% of what they do, 75% percent of
what they say, and 10% of what they hear.
leaders run their team as if it were a business unto itself.
Through “local reengineering,” they reinvent the branch or sales
true change agent:
· does whatever it takes to keep the customer
· makes the sales task clear
· transforms the way business is done
· uses the 80/20 rule and cuts the inconsequential
· ruthlessly cuts costs
· provides great service
· competes on value.
sales leaders focus on profit, not revenue. They know that 60%
of all retail customers cost the bank more than they bring in
and focus their efforts identifying, selling to, and serving
the lucrative top 20%.
far, we’ve detailed a daunting list of competencies for sales
leaders. Many bank executives will doubtless shake their heads,
not believing their managers will make the grade.
To assume the mantle of leadership, bank managers
must not only work on skills; they must work on themselves.
To maintain the energy and courage to lead a team into uncharted
territory requires confidence and self knowledge.
· know who they are, what their strengths
and weaknesses are
· choose a leadership style that works for
· recognize their level of stress
· are mindfully aware of what’s going on
· lead balanced lives
· manage time wisely
· use informal networks to get things done
· negotiate by inventing options for mutual
· express themselves fully and well
· accept responsibility, blame no one
· reflect on their experience
· have confidence they can get the job done
lead their teams as if it were all that matters.
The best front-line leaders:
· think like top management and take action
· believe in themselves, their ability to
inspire others and bring about a better future.
· take at least 15 minutes a day to kick
back and consider the big picture.
· are known for what they do, not what they
· have a passion for their jobs and enjoy
their work. Life’s too short to miss out on having fun.
leaders possess the ability to inspire, judgment, character,
intelligence, empathy, charisma, and toughness. Their work entails
vision, trust, listening, authenticity, integrity, hope, and,
especially, the true needs of followers.
Whew! This is not something one learns at a
three-day retreat. It’s a process that takes years and we’ve
yet to meet a leader anywhere who couldn’t benefit from a little
“To build a successful leadership training
program in your organization you need to get support from the
top; shun one-shot, quick-fix training efforts; involve mentors
to coach the students; work to spread a leadership culture throughout
the entire organization; and involve as many managers as possible
in the leadership training. Finally, you need to be very patient,
because training is a long-term investment, if you have a short-term
attitude you'll never do it or you'll never do it right!”
Asked how non-leaders can learn to lead, six
respected CEOs and management consultants  suggested:
· Coach and counsel them, give them the opportunity
and power to lead. Encourage their ideas.
· Leadership is learned by doing.
· Being skilled at understanding and articulating
your vision...selling ideas...imparting enthusiasm to others...fully
understanding external factors affecting the successful execution
of your ideas.
· A mix of conceptual learning, simulation
experience and testing in real work settings....
· By reaching out and trying new things to
build self-confidence and improve your batting average.
leader development is a process, not an event. The real world
is the laboratory. Regional managers must inspire their reports
to innovate, to try new things, to experiment, to become more
confident. Most of the progress will come from coaching and
mentoring over time, not from traditional training. Omega can
be the catalyst by providing performance contracts for regional
managers to execute with sales leaders. It’s time for manager-driven
Brown identifies four areas where new management skills are
· ability to embrace change
· willingness to take risk
· developed focused, flexible strategies
· retailing orientation
best regional managers develop the front line leaders who report
to them by:
· delegating projects with tangible results
and the authority to carry them out
· executing specific performance contracts
for projects and activities that build sales leadership experience
· questioning common wisdom
personal. Systems, no matter how sophisticated, can never replace
the richness of close personal communication and contact between
top-level and front-line managers.
Benefit from change rather
than being victimized by it
Select optimistic, outgoing, competent, energetic, happy people
through a rigorous selection (and deselection!) process
Provide information and authority to empower all staff to think
like owners. Every employee is a businessperson.
· Trust their people to do what is right
them to give their best (“You can’t release the brainpower of
any organization by using whips and chains.
You get the best out of people by empowering them, supporting
them, by getting out of their way.”  )
Build spirited internal teams, especially for sales and customer
Organize themselves around the needs of their customers.
Reinforce and shape worthy behavior through continuous coaching
Reward new ideas and encourage creativity
· Profit by providing great service (because
it differentiates the bank from its competitors, stimulates
favorable word-of-mouth, and encourages customers to shed mediocre
financial providers. The results are fewer lost customers, lower
turnover, higher productivity, fewer service mistakes, and,
more than likely, higher prices because of higher value.
· Borrow lessons from successful general
retailers, supplementing stores with 24/7 telephone centers,
direct marketing, catalogs, database marketing, infomercials,
the Internet, and more.
· Apply properly timed life-event selling
to increase customer satisfaction and “share of wallet”