Monday, October 06, 2008

We managers need to be easier on ourselves

Much of my writing on management issues deals with the way that we as managers might improve our performance. Yet recently I have had cause to question whether this constant focus on performance improvement might not be wrong.

Don't misunderstand me. All managers have a professional responsibility to improve their skills and performance. It's just that I feel that we are in danger of setting absolute benchmarks, expectations, that cannot be delivered.

Our management skills vary. Further, all of us are better managers in some circumstances than another. None of us can be perfect.

My feeling is that we should stop agonising over the question as to whether we are a good manager or not. Instead, we should just focus on improving what we do.

Yes, this is still a focus performance improvement. But the emphasis is on relative improvement, not some focus on an absolute benchmark that none of us can meet.

We cannot aim to be perfect. We can only aim to improve what we actually do now.

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