How to Make a Difference and Get Results

FT GuideBest known as Europe’s answer to the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times has published their Guide to Management in conjunction with the Chartered Management Institute in London.  Lucky to know the author Ann Francke, I got the chance to provide my own advice for the The Last Word section on Advice From the Front Line.  Here are my thoughts:

Top tip

To keep that constant perspective on what’s most important, one of my favorite maxims is Dr. Stephen Covey’s theory of “big rocks”– know what’s most important in your life, and let all the “little rocks” fill in around the boulders. How easily we can get distracted by other people’s priorities!

Top pitfall

Ah, get that monkey off my back! Originally discussed in the Harvard Business Review in 1974, the politics of responsibility and delegation are still a trap, as I see myself and others take on responsibilities that “are not my/our job” and get on the slippery slope of being stuck with the ugly monkey.

Top takeaway

Clear vision is just another term for focus – the key to both long and short term success. For leaders in organizations both large and small, focus can be a constant challenge. Entrepreneurs who chase today’s shiniest star, or corporations who creep into far-afield business lines, rarely have a winning strategy, just a constant temptation. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and Built to Last, addresses focus in his “hedgehog” concept and quantifies the impact on business results.

To read more tips from management experts, check out Ann Francke’s Guide to Management on Amazon.

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