It’s the Manager: Gallup finds the quality of managers and team leaders is the single biggest factor in your organization’s long-term success.
Jim Clifton and Jim Harter
Gallup Press (May 2019)
Organizational defects “aren’t failures in processes but failures in maximizing human potential”
The title of my brief commentary is provided by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter in the Introduction to their latest and most valuable book in which they share what they learned from the results of Gallup’s “largest global study of the future of work.” They explain how and why (as the subtitle suggests) “the quality of managers and team leaders is the single biggest factor in [any] organization’s long-term success.”
Hence the importance of recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and then accelerating the personal growth and professional development of the talent it needs to achieve its strategic objectives. Make no mistake: it needs a combination of processes — including one to improve each of those processes — as well as the quality of management needed to use those processes effectively and efficiently. What is done — and how well it is done — will determine whether or not an organization achieves long-term success.
George Gallup (1901–1984) founded the American Institute of Public Opinion, the precursor of the Gallup Organization, in 1935. Since then, I know of no other organization that has learned more about human behavior from its use of polling than has Gallup. Today, there is no other organization that has obrained more and better information about the business world, one that it has become more volatile, more uncertain, more complex. and more ambiguous than at any prior time that I can recall.
These are among the passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Clifton and Harter’s coverage:
o What Exactly Should CEOs and CHROs Change? (Pages 17-19)
o Make Great Decisions (26-27)
o How to Change a Culture (34-35)
o Hiring Star Employees (42-44)
o Five Questions for Onboarding (50-53)
o Shortcut to Development — Strengths-Based Conversations (54-56)
o Five Steps to Building a Strengths-Based Culture (60-62)
o Three Requirements of Coaching (77-79)
o Performance Ratings: The Fix (93-96)
o The Team Leader Breakthrough (105-108)
o Why Employee Engagement Programs Haven’t Worked (109-112)
o The Five Traits of Great Managers (117-119)
o A Quick Review of What Has Changed in the Workplace (127-128)
o The New Office (154-156)
o Corporate Innovation: How to Manage — and Nurture — Creativity (157-159)
o Artificial Intelligence Has Arrived. Now What? (166-169)
o Artificial Intelligence: Preparing Your Workplace (170-171)
o Better-Decision-Making with Predictive Analytics (176-178)
Clifton and Harter also provide five notably substantial appendices. All are of interest and value to me, especially the first and third:
o “Leading With Your Strengths: A Guide to the 34 CliftonStrengths Themes” (Pages 101-283)
o “The Relationship Between Engagement at Work and Organizational Outcomes” (301-348)
To be sure, all organizations need leadership at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise. But long ago, Thomas Edison made an especially important point when observing, “Vision without execution is hallucination.”
I indicated earlier that every organization needs a combination of processes — including one to improve each of those processes — as well as the quality of management needed to use those processes effectively and efficiently. What is done — and how well it is done — will determine whether or not an organization achieves long-term success. Managers must ensure that an organization keeps the promises that its leaders make.
Those who share my hgh regard for this book are urged to check out Clifton”s previously published Born to Build (2018), First, Break All the Rules (2016) with Marcus Buckingham and others, and The Coming Jobs War (2011) as well as Harter’s First, Break All the Rules (2016) with Marcus Buckingham and others, Wellbeing (2010) and 12 (2006) with Rodd Wagner.