Cost Centers

Throughout history there have always been significant conflicts. The ancient Romans and just about everybody else. The North and the South. The East and the West. Capitalism and Socialism. Yin and Yang. Republicans and Democrats. Dogs and Cats. The list goes on and on. In business the applicable equivalent conflict seems to be between Cost Centers and Profitability.

There appear to be two ongoing schools of thought when it comes to business management structures and organizations. There are probably many more than that but for purposes of the time and space that I have here, I am going to impose the writer’s “power of the pen” and focus on the two that have already alluded to, namely cost centers and profitability (and loss). For the most part just about every other organizational structure is a variant or hybrid of these. You will also occasionally see them referred to as “Matrix” management models and “General” management models.

There are competing schools of business thought when it comes to costs centers. On one side it is felt that it is easier and more efficient to manage your costs when you group them into one specific organization. The idea here is that if you get your costs into one location that there will be several obvious efficiencies and economies of scale that can be taken advantage of to either reduce costs or at the very least slow their growth. As we all know, reducing costs will help improve profitability and creating cost centers is a very seductive argument for reducing costs.

A potential disadvantage to this model is that costs end up being the responsibility of a group other than the business group responsible for revenue or profitability. Because the costs are assigned from a shared pool, the cost center, they may or may not be directly linked to the revenue or business activities that the associated costs are supporting. Here costs are in effect “assigned” to rather than directly associated with the revenue they are responsible for generating.

The other school of thought when it comes to cost centers is that costs should directly be associated with the revenue that they drive. This is the general management model. The idea here is that the revenue, profitability and the costs for a specific business unit should all reside in that specific business unit. In doing this you enable the business unit leader to manage and “fix” his costs in direct proportion to and in association with his revenue in order to achieve his profit objectives.

A potential disadvantage with this model is that some businesses may be too small or may not be far enough along the efficiency curve to endure the incremental costs they require and hence suffer reduced profitability. Because costs are not shared each business unit may in effect be less efficient than they would be if their costs were shared.

So with the lines being drawn and the costs piling up, what do you do? Which structure to implement for the best profitability of the business?

Businesses (and business analysts for that matter) like predictability. They like to know in very specific financial terms what they can expect from their businesses. While the Cost Center and the Profitability models both offer certain aspects of predictability it seems that the profitability model offers the best financial predictability. It is only in this model that all specific and applicable costs are known, defined and fixed within the confines of the business. In the Cost Center model costs are allocated according to some predefined algorithm. While the method or algorithm may be fixed, the actual value of the costs that are assigned can vary. Adding another variable into a business’s cost structure increases the unpredictability of its performance.

As an example, assume there is a cost center that allocates its costs based on support requests. If there are three businesses sharing the cost center and one of the three experiences an unexpected increase in its support requests on the cost center, its costs will rise during that period while the other two businesses costs through no action of their own will go down. Conversely if one of the businesses experiences a reduction in support requests its costs will go down while the other two businesses through no action of their own will go up. In this way cost centers can turn fixed costs into variable costs.

Lastly when dealing with cost centers there comes the issue of governance and leadership. In business for the most part we are looking to grow. We want to grow our business, and with it, our responsibilities. When it comes to cost centers we must always ask the cost center leadership to take the contrary approach and reduce the cost center or at the very least limit its growth. In my experience this has seldom been the case with cost centers. If the supported businesses do not have direct control over the cost center growth and costs, they invariably grow at a faster rate than the supported businesses grow.

In the profitability / General Management model all costs directly associated with a particular business are attached to that business. The market doesn’t dictate what costs the business can or will bear. The market dictates what price the business can expect for its good or service. It is then the profitability objectives of the business that dictate what costs the business can bear in the pursuit of the market price. By putting the cost and price controls in the hands of the business owner, instead of separating them into the hands of the cost center owner and the business owner, you will far more regularly get a more efficient and lower cost solution.

There may be questions regarding lost efficiencies, or biases against smaller businesses in this profitability model. These types of businesses may in fact be able to be served by a cost center model, but should be only in a cost center model where fixed amounts of costs are purchased from the cost center by the business. The idea here is that the business must always decide on the amount of cost that it wants or can afford, hence the cost purchase approach to cost centers.

As I noted before, businesses like predictability, and there is nothing more predictable than a fixed cost. It may be good or bad, but it is known. And known costs can be planned for and dealt with. When direct costs are associated with and controlled by the business, they can and will become fixed. When multiple business’s costs are lumped together into a “Cost Center” there will always be a question regarding the efficiency and value received by the business for the amount of cost allocated to each business. There will be the incremental cost of the cost center management that must also be allocated and paid for. There will also be less control over the content and growth of those costs in the cost center, unless a budgeted cost arrangement can be put in place between the served businesses and the serving cost center.

As I also noted, the arguments in support of cost centers are seductive, but in the reality of their implementation they present multiple issues to the efficient operation of a business. Every effort should be made to find a way to directly attach and fix the costs and decisions about the costs to the revenue and the business that is recognizing the revenue for the most efficient and lowest cost business operation.

Not My Job

I don’t want it to sound as though I am a continual complainer about today’s business environment and conduct. There are many aspects of it that I appreciate. It is just that I believe that it might be better if what has already been proven to be effective in the business environment were retained and combined with what the best of today has to offer instead of seemingly being discarded and replaced whole cloth. I also understand that despite what just about every media outlet reports and would like us to believe, that the business environment is still a difficult place and probably will be for some time to come. Despite all this and probably more, there is one trend that I have witnessed in the conduct of today’s business that I just don’t seem to be able to get my head around. I don’t understand how anyone can ever respond to a question, request or assignment with the words “It’s not my job.”

It seems to me that this phrase has been insidiously creeping into our business lexicon. I have mentioned in the past that it seemed that companies prized employees that had a breadth of experience in that they felt it enabled them to take on new roles and added responsibilities. The difficult business and economic times appears to have taught companies that instead of retaining the generalist who may be capable of performing a great many different functions very well and grow into a multi-dimensional business leader, they may now instead focus on the shorter term and opt for a specialist who may be highly proficient in one particular skill, to the exclusion of the others with somewhat less potential for leadership upside.

The equivalent comparison here would be looking at someone who competes in the decathlon, a ten discipline competition, and comparing them to a sprinter who only competes in the one hundred meter sprint. The winner of the decathlon is viewed as the best overall athlete, but today if you need someone to run one hundred meters, you will more than likely choose the sprinter. And tomorrow if you need someone to throw the javelin or clear the bar in the high jump you can replace the sprinter with someone else who better fills those specific needs then. As I said, a much shorter term approach to immediate needs.

I am drawing a corollary between the advent of this corporate preference for business specialists and the beginning of the “Not My Job” mentality. It seems only natural that if you were brought in for a single purpose that you might not be knowledgeable of or have the predilection to perform other jobs or assume other responsibilities. As an example, if you are brought in to sell, your single focus now is to get the customer order. It seems that profitability, margins, availability of product, functionality, deliverability, etc, are now reduced in your hierarchy of priorities. They are now someone else’s job. If the people responsible for those functions are not as good at their roles as you are at getting orders, it is quite probable that business profitability as well as customer satisfaction will suffer due to potentially too low prices and undeliverable commitments. However, there will probably be plenty of these somewhat difficult orders.

I have also discussed in the past the proliferation of the virtual office and being remotely located in the performance of your role. Prior to the advanced bandwidth and networking capabilities that we enjoy today, functions and businesses were usually collocated within a specific building, floor or area. This face to face interaction gave rise to business terms such as “efficiency” and “synergy”. People physically worked together. 

This also seemed to be a period of intense creativity and development. There were many magazine articles displaying pictures of people sleeping at their desks in the California Silicon Valley as they were driving to create their new businesses and business models. As we have evolved to a more “virtual” environment we seem to have possibly lost some of the synergy, productivity and interaction that drove many of the new ideas.

We may also be seeing the beginning of a corrective movement associated with the virtual office world. In February Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo Issued a directive that all virtual or remote employees in that company need to come into an office to work. She was worried about not only the creativity that was lost when people stopped physically working together, but also the productivity that was lost. We’ll see how this “virtual” reversal goes, but I find it very interesting that a technology and digital bellwether company like Yahoo, a company that was a leader in the new digital age has adopted such a contrary stance to virtual office working.

The corollary that I am drawing here is that psychologically it is easier to say things over the phone than it is to say them in person.  With the advent of virtual offices and conducting the preponderance of work either by phone or electronic media, we have made it in effect “easier” for people to say “Not My Job”. They get to say it over the phone instead of face to face.

Perhaps it was a different time, but I see it even today in that there seems to be more collaboration and less job responsibility deflection in a face to face meeting than in a conference call. A set of disembodied voices on a conference call do not seem to engender the same kind of commitment that is achieved when people are in the same room. An even greater level of commitment seems to be created when people leave the conference room and know they will need to continue to face their peers in the office area. It seems when you hang up the phone everyone is “gone”. It is easier to say “Not My Job” because you rarely if ever have to face them.

Perhaps it is also the advent of the more matrix oriented business structure that has given rise to the “Not My Job” growth. In the past general management or more hierarchical business structures, when a request was made if it was not already a given job responsibility, it was positioned as the addition of a new job responsibility. In today’s somewhat more matrix and consensus oriented business structures, where there is more functional specificity, as well as far more functional overlap, managers seem to be structurally encouraged to focus on only those activities that fit cleanly within their responsibility definitions.

Instead of having a business structure that promotes the addition and incrementing of new responsibilities, we now have one that encourages ever tighter focus on a specific set of responsibility definitions and processes. The result seems to be more and more “Not My Job” responses.

Despite what the typical business RACI matrix (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed) may state, leaders when asked take responsibility. It may not be in their job definition. It may not have been anything that they have done before in the organization. But when they are asked, or when they see a business or performance gap that needs to be filled, they step up. If the requirement is truly outside the bounds of their expertise, they don’t say it’s not their job. They take on the responsibility to find out who has the required expertise and see to it that they get the job done.

There is always a time and a place for pushing back on assignments, but in business now, if a job needs to get done it needs to be everyone’s job to see to it that the job gets done. I think if we heard more “I’ll do that job” and less “It’s not my job” we would make much better progress.

Career Progression

When you look at a career in business you see that it is not a smooth line but a series of steps. Some are upwards, and some are not. The point is that there is movement, maybe not continual, but regular movement. There are always new roles, new responsibilities and new challenges to take on. There is not an exact science on when and where to make your moves and take your steps. There are however a few topics, traits and activities to be aware of when contemplating your career progression.

When discussing career progression it isinteresting to note the number of seemingly opposing forces that will act on a career. The first of these dichotomies will be how long or how short each business assignment’s duration is. Many prospective employers or managers like to look at an individual’s past assignment durations to get an idea of how long they may stay in their new role. A history of short assignment durations can indicate a “job hopper”, or someone who is just hopping from role to role. This could be for any number of good or viable reasons, but in general can be seen as a negative. A history of long assignments can also be negatively looked at as someone who may be “too conservative” and either cannot or will not take on new or added responsibilities. There is always the search for the perfect balance between the two extremes.

As I have noted in many past articles, I am something of an old school throwback when it comes to business. There was a time where businesses wanted candidates and employees that had a broad background and experience set. This multi-discipline type of background was seen as an indication that the employee or candidate had the capability to be flexible in what they were asked or needed to do as well as were able to take on other and greater responsibilities. The idea here was that businesses were looking for the best overall business “athletes”.

Now it seems that this approach is no longer the case. The business world seems to have evolved to a level of specificity where the search is no longer for the best potential overall athlete, but the best within that specific discipline. This approach now brings into question whether or not it is good to search for or even accept new roles that require a change of discipline. If a business is looking for a marketer, they are now looking for the best marketer available, and more specifically the best marketer in their specific market for their specific product type, not the best athlete who has the capability to not only become the best marketer, but also has the capability to go on and assume roles with greater or broader responsibilities.

While this approach may provide a better short term or immediate return to that specific part of the business, it does tend to generate somewhat more one dimensional (single discipline) career paths and leaders. As leaders hit the senior level positions where they will be required to provide broader leadership, they will have a narrower experience set to draw on. I am not proposing that career discipline changes (Marketing to Finance, or Engineering to Sales, etc.) cannot or should not be made. What I am saying is that the current business climate does not encourage or reward these types of career changes in the same way that they were in the past. It is something to be aware of when contemplating potential changes and progression.

Another aspect of career progression will depend on the relative perception of the business aspect that you are currently in. What I mean here is that if you are associated with a business unit or function that is in relatively high regard, the opportunities for continued career progression in that specific business unit or function, or even other business units or functions can be stronger. As an example, look at Apple. They had been so successful under Steve Jobs leadership that they primarily looked to members of his team to assume the leadership role to assure continuity and continued success. They looked internal.

When a business unit or function is not performing to a desired level, it unfortunately seems that all members of that team whether it is justifiable or not will be associated with that poor performance. In most cases like this an organization will look external of that business unit or function for its next leader. These changes of leadership events can be opportunities for leaders outside of the poor performing business, but unless they are in a similar business function this again would seem to run contrary to the previous point I made earlier regarding the apparent single discipline verses multi-discipline experience preference in candidates.

Either way, there will always be the question of the need for continuity playing against the need for new approaches in a leadership role. Both can be either opportunities for or detriments to career progression. Knowledge of both the business situation and perception of the business will be needed in order to ascertain what or where may be the next career progression opportunity.

Along a similar line here, I have always found that taking on a new approach change of leadership role has been beneficial to my career. I have taken to heart the advice of an executive that I received early in my career when I was pondering just such a move. The executive told me to never be afraid to take on a bad or underperforming business (he actually used the word “catastrophe”). He said that if something is truly in bad shape, that you can’t help but make it better. Across my experience in business, I have found this to be true far more times than not. These types of career moves can result in some of the most challenging of assignments, but in order to achieve the return of career advancement there will need to be the risk of taking on difficult performance objectives.

There are those that consider a proper career progression to be a series of upward movements and assignments with ever increasing responsibilities. This type of progression has not been my experience, nor has it been one that I have seen. There will inevitably be situations that evolve where there will simply be no opportunities for advancement. There may already be several high quality leaders in position and hence no new opportunities. On the opposite side of that equation, there may be several managers in place who may not be supporters of the leadership traits and characteristics that you want to employ. The business may be undergoing a contraction and along with that action there is a reduction in opportunities. For whatever reason there can be an opportunity logjam.

In situations like this it may be time to look for a lateral move instead of waiting to try and make a promotional one. In effect you can try and step around the business impediments to career progress. It may be possible to step outside of an underperforming business unit (where you may be associated with that underperformance) and get into a better performing business unit. Once outside of the poorly performing unit you may become eligible for consideration due to your past experience and knowledge if and when a leadership change is considered there.

Moving laterally in an organization can also provide monetary and earnings opportunities. Better performing business units can receive better bonus opportunities during annual reviews. Moving into sales or into different units within sales can provide better sales and commission opportunities. Some lateral motion for whatever reason should be expected in almost any career progression.

I will come to conclusion here without commenting on where a career progression may slow or even stop. You may be happy where you are and remain at that level of responsibility or you may not. Instead I’ll finish with a few quotes or axioms and let you decide.

Laurence J. Peter
and Raymond Hull in their 1969 book The Peter Principle, defined the Peter Principle as that the members of an organization where promotion is based on achievement, success, and merit, will eventually be promoted beyond their level of ability. The principle is commonly phrased, “Employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence.”

Robert Frost wrote: “By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss, and work twelve hours a day.”

And finally Sloan Wilson said: “Success in almost any field depends more on energy and drive than it does on intelligence. This explains why we have so many stupid leaders.” I suspect and hope that he was writing about our political system, but I thought I would throw that one in as well.

Good luck on your career.

High Maintenance Managers

We all work for someone. Sometimes we work for people that are leaders and create an environment where we can grow and flourish. Sometimes we work for managers that seem to feel it is their responsibility to keep track of our every activity. These are the managers that for whatever reason seem to consider themselves the center of the group’s processes and the core of its activities. They appear to think of each member of the team as to be some sort of appendage or digit to be controlled or told what to do. These managers want to position themselves as the control point and decision making hub of their organization. These are the types of managers that I refer to as High Maintenance Managers.

High maintenance managers can present a significant issue to responsible and capable leaders. In addition to managing downward into their team, high maintenance managers also seem to focus on reporting upwards into their management. Most leaders understand that there is a trade-off between how much time and effort is spent getting work done and how much time and effort is spent reporting how much work is getting done. The obvious point here is that the more time that is spent reporting, the less time that is spent actually doing. Most managers do not see this trade-off as an opportunity cost / productivity issue. High maintenance managers seem to thrive in the reporting arena to the point of almost seeming to place a higher priority on the reporting of the work than the actual work accomplished.

I once heard it said that “Those who can’t do, teach.” This always intrigued me. Being someone who enjoys and appreciates golf, I looked at some of the professional golfers and their beautiful rhythmic swings for inspiration. They all seem to have swing coaches of one type or another. I always wondered if these swing coaches were capable of creating these great swings in others, why they couldn’t create one for themselves and start winning. It would seem to indicate that there is more to golf than just the physical / mechanical aspect of being able to swing a golf club correctly. Hence, they teach.

I would propose that the business corollary to “Those who can’t do, teach” is “Those who can’t do, report.” It is my experience that high maintenance managers love reports. They love to get them. They love to give them. They want reports from their team members weekly, monthly, ad hoc, you name it. They want project reports. They want progress reports. They want to have meetings and conference calls to discuss their reports. They seem to want to know what everyone is doing, all the time.

They are almost information junkies when it comes to their areas of responsibility. They can’t seem to ever know enough about what is going on. This might be an acceptable situation if the information that is gathered is used for the purpose of directing or affecting the performance of the business. More often than not it is not used this way. High maintenance managers seem to try and gather all the information that is available for the purpose of creating more reports.

High maintenance managers seem to live for the opportunity to present reports on their own and their teams activities. It is not uncommon for these managers to have multiple drafts and even multiple dry runs on presentations and reports that they will be presenting to their reporting structures. They are experts at crafting an activity report (or just about any other type of report) that not only conveys what has been done, but also does it in such a way as to amaze and astound their management with the images, prose and flow of the presentation. It seems how things are said and done are just as important, if not more so than what was actually accomplished.

Contrary to what you might expect it has been my experience that high maintenance managers do not want to make all decisions. They do however want to be involved in all decisions. They will want to understand how the decision was arrived at and the logic that was used. They will ask detailed questions and probe the arcane aspects associated with the decision. There were always a great many “your decision” questions, and they were usually phrased as “I would like to know…” While the high maintenance manager may not make all of the decisions, through this type of process they do in effect control the decision making process.

It might sound as though I have found high maintenance managers to be untrusting of their teams. In all honesty, I really do not believe this to be the case. I think it stems more from the idea that these types of managers are driven by the perception that since they are nominally in charge that they must be in the middle of all that is going on. They must be aware of, understand and try to control all that is going on as it pertains to their realms.

I am not advocating or even saying that leaders are not or should not be aware of their team’s activities. I am saying that good leaders need to provide space for their team members to operate in. Team members should not be fully autonomous, but they do need to have some sense of self direction if they are to grow into the next generation of leaders. The leaders that I have been associated with were good at providing objectives and guidelines. The managers that I have worked for usually provided tasks and instructions.

I have spent a little time describing some of the traits and attributes of high maintenance managers. I am sure there are more. There are other items such as rigorous justifications associated with approval processes. Another favorite of mine is the repeated forwarding, with comments, of just about every email and piece of correspondence that they receive. It seems that since high maintenance managers crave information, they assume everyone else does too.

So how do you deal with a high maintenance manager if you happen to find yourself in one of their group’s? Their demand for awareness and involvement will not go away. Refusing or ignoring their involvement usually only increases their demands to be involved. And as my dad was so fond of telling me, he might not always be right but he (like the high maintenance manager) was always boss.

I have found that there was never any way to satiate the demands of a high maintenance manager, but that there were usually ways to contain them. One of my favorite ways was what I referred to as the preemptive information strike. Since they were information junkies, I found that if I would provide an information set to them prior to them asking for it, I could invariably provide them a less intensive information set and avoid the detailed review.

I also found that I could work to create an information format or structure that again would be less time consuming and information intensive. I would look to try and create a “bulletized” information / feedback format that would enable me to provide the desired information while at the same time creating a jointly agreeable structure that would reduce my reporting time.

I am sure there are other methods for dealing with high maintenance managers. I have only highlighted a couple of tactics that seemed to work for me. High maintenance managers by their nature are demanding of their team members’ time. This is a trait that is difficult to change. Refusing their information and report requests usually only succeeds in having the requests changed to demands. And the demands usually become for ever more intensive detailed information.

High maintenance managers are a fact of business. For whatever reason they have adopted an informational management approach that they believe works for them. Team members will need to understand this and be flexible enough to adapt to this management style. It is difficult if not impossible to get managers of this type to change, but it is possible to find ways of satisfying their demands while at the same time limiting their informational intrusion into the actual conduct of the business. While that may not be the optimal solution it is an effective way of dealing with high maintenance managers, and still accomplishing your goals.

Low Maintenance Employees

I once heard a very senior executive asked what type of employee he appreciated most. I thought his response was most telling. He said: “A low maintenance one.” I didn’t quite understand at the time what he meant, but as I have gone though the various management ranks, I think I might have picked up on it some. I think what the executive meant was that it is not the management of the issues, problems and crises that are the greatest challenge to managers; it is the management of the people that takes the most time and effort.

Business is conducted between people. Whether it is providing services to the customer or responding to an executive request, it is individual people that do it. And when individual people interact there can and will be issues. It is my position that in general all employees want to do a good job. They want to succeed in their assignments. They want to advance in their careers. The want to be recognized for their contributions to the progress of the business. The issues start to arise when different employees start to utilize differing approaches to working on and attaining these objectives.

Any time you start discussing people, the behavior of people and the management of people you can be treading on very thin ice. I am sure there are claxons, sirens and all manner of warning lights flashing in all sorts of Human Resource departments across the web based on the fact someone outside of HR would have the nerve to address this type of topic. Fortunately I am speaking only for myself and from my own experiences so there really isn’t anyone for them to call. If there are truly any issues, I will look forward to the comments.

I have come to interpret the executive’s low maintenance employee response to mean that he prized an employee that did not require, or seek an inordinate amount of his time to manage. It is a key point to understand the two aspects of this issue.

There are employees that due to any number of issues require extra management intervention in order for them to be able to do their jobs. They may be new and untrained and hence need the incremental leadership. They may be “personality challenged” when it comes to working with others and may require incremental intervention and direction. The point is that there are inevitably employees that require more time and attention from leaders than others in order for them to achieve their goals.

On the other side of the management attention coin, there are those employees that actively seek incremental management attention during the normal course of conducting their job functions. They are the employees that always ask questions during any open forum information session. They will continually come in and seek intermediate approval for each incremental step in the solution process to each of their assignments. In short, they like to spend a lot of time in their manager’s office. It may be due to a true sense of insecurity regarding what they have been asked to do, or it may be from a desire to be perceived as more visible in the execution of their duties. Either way it takes up management time.

There may be some business managers that like and or seek this kind of business activity. Managing the people or managing the process can sometimes be confused with managing the business just as in many instances it can be made to appear that activity can be confused with actually making progress. Most business leaders do not like or seek this type of management situation.

Business leaders are looking for employees whom they can trust to perform their assignments to the same high level that they themselves would perform it. They are looking for employees that are self motivated and understand that there is a distinct value in their being able to perform their roles without incremental management attention, either required or desired on their part, and without other interpersonal difficulties.

That doesn’t mean that good employees must be prepared to work in isolation of their management. I was once in an assignment where I literally had not had any significant time or interface with my reporting executive in several weeks. We had been extremely busy and successful in the market and had several different projects in various stages of development and completion. Still I had not had any time with him. I scheduled a half hour with him through his administrative assistant for the following week.

The meeting came around and I went into his office. He thanked me for setting up an appointment, as he said most people seemed to just barge in on him when they wanted to talk with him, and he then asked me what my issue was.

I told him that I really didn’t have any issue that I needed to escalate to him, but that it had been several weeks since we had had any communications and that I was just closing the loop. I asked him if there was anything else I needed to be doing on his behalf or for the business. He just looked at me for a few moments.

He then said that he had not realized that it had indeed been so long since we had communicated, but he had in fact been focusing on the people and issues that required his attention and since I nor the business I was responsible for needed his attention he had not been in contact with me. He went on to say that this was a good thing in that it freed up valuable time for him to focus on other issues that did require his attention.

I then understood. I thanked him for his time and told him I would not take up any more of it. I learned that I didn’t need to have, nor should I seek a lot of feedback or attention and that even if employees don’t need a great deal of supervision or attention it is still a good idea to periodically touch base with them and provide feedback. I think I only used about fifteen minutes of the half hour allotment.

Leaders recognize those employees that go quietly about doing their jobs, and who do the job to the same high standards that the leaders would do them. They appreciate those who do the work and don’t allow any people management issues to reach a point where they require management intervention or time.  Leaders know what their team members are doing. They don’t need to be reminded by each team member what that specific team member is doing. They also don’t want to have to solve specific issues for specific team members either.

In business a leader wants an employee that they can trust to execute their responsibilities so that they are where they should be in their job and on their assignments at each appropriate time. They don’t need to be doing things to garner individual incremental attention. They should not be doing things that require individual incremental intervention. If they can perform their roles and duties in a manner that requires only a modicum of management supervision or attention and achieve the assigned goals, they will be sought after, recognized and reward by business leaders.