In the December issue of mivision, I referred to the term ‘Measure’ to describe a tool managers can use when determining why team members record results below expectations and obligations. I received an excellent response to that concept so now I’ve gone one step further and created a second tool. This one is called ‘Measure 2’ and it’s for managers (or their bosses) to use in assessing their own leadership qualities.
Just as I identified seven ways to measure a team’s success, so too there are seven key ways to measure a manager’s leadership qualities, beginning with their knowledge of the market.
1. Market Knowledge
The “optical market” is the starting point for effective managers when building their leadership role. There is no hope for eye care professionals to know how to approach, serve and sell to customers and prospects, if their leader does not know more about this terrain than anyone in the team… as a result of continuous study of the optical market, both in and out of transaction modes.
There is no hope for eye care professionals… if their leader does not know more about this terrain than anyone in the team
In business, the best managers ‘work backwards’ from the market so as to ensure that the optometry team ‘moves forwards’ from the practice… towards the market. The rule here is that ‘you can have your backside in the office from time to time, but your mind and heart must always be in the market!’
Both your revenue and your reputation will be built in store, so good managers will consider customers as part of their team to help design and develop contributions in both service and sales.
2. Setting the Example
The “example” is the greatest lesson that leaders offer their teams, in terms of personal presentation, behaviour, language and study as well as abilities cultivated and used inside the practice.
Additionally, attitude, motivation, work ethic and productive interaction with higher management and ‘other’ practice areas should be led by example. In other words, managers are the ‘Pied-Pipers’ of your practice, and although they may be far from perfect, they strive for excellence in all areas of their work. The rule here is best reflected in this saying: ‘no written word or mortal plea, can teach your staff what they must be; nor all the books upon the shelves… but what the leaders are themselves!’
3. Create Allies
The “ally” position is chosen by the most advanced managers, referring to the fact that they become active supporters of all parties involved in the practice building process. This mostly involves customers and their team, but also all other practice areas and more senior management. They assume this responsibility, not out of friendliness or ‘politics’, but because this role enables them to exert positive control over issues that critically impact on customer satisfaction and sales development… as opposed to allowing an ‘us and them’ mentality to prevail. The rule here is ‘all for one and one for all.’
4. Winning Strategies
The ‘strategist’ role is vital to modern managers and involves setting standards for all practice staff covering every aspect of behaviour – from the smallest to the areas of greatest impact.
Aside from involving the team, the manager will use external help, such as experts and customers, books, CDS and DVDS, so that one way or another, the standards are set and put into practice. Leading managers never leave people to set their own standards – be they Gen Y or close to retirement. Instead they sell the idea of what kind of conduct is expected, and they lead the way in creating winning strategies. They also monitor conduct in relation to standards on a regular basis, as they would progress a budget.
5. Maximise Resources
The “user” of available resources, describes a progressive manager’s commitment to use whatever internal support the practice can provide, along with external intelligence (trainers, authors, business coaches, business achievers who are happy to tell all, etc.) and the full capacity of team members to give their best (rather to simply want and expect help to perform their tasks).
Better managers sell staff on the fact that ‘we are an economic unit unto ourselves, and so we are not at the mercy of ‘business conditions’… and nor should we be immobilised by weak competitive activity. We can lift our efforts and set higher standards to reach our objectives.’
6. Positive Pressure
The “relentless” driver and supporter of people is the position that discerning managers take when it comes to helping staff achieve success for customers, for the practice and for themselves. High performing managers insist that team members adopt a mentality of controlling results, rather than waiting for results… and they exert continuous ‘positive pressure’ and offer an array of ideas to help their teams win in business.
7. Influence Earnings
The “earnings” factor comes last but is not seen by first-class managers as being of least concern; it comes at the end because they know that revenue starts in the optical market, and that it is attracted and managed by their teams, to the point of success. The best managers also treat staff as self-managers and hold team members fully accountable for the achievement of commercial objectives, plus they provide unique rewards that influence the efforts and earnings of their teams.
Measure 2 should prove a practical tool that helps every manager measure their own performance and identify opportunities to develop their leadership skills. After all, there always is room for improvement – wherever you sit in the practice and whatever your experience may be.
I hope this exercise will help you to see that managers and team leaders, like staff, are ‘made to measure’.
John Lees is a sales & marketing specialist, operating services as a professional speaker, trainer, consultant, business coach… and he is the author of 11 books on business development. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: