Based on a first-of-its-kind, wide-ranging global study of over 9,000 people, analysts at the global research and advisory firm Gartner were able to classify all managers into one of four types:
• Teacher managers, who develop employees' skills based on their own expertise and direct their development along a similar track to their own.
• Cheerleader managers, who give positive feedback while taking a general hands-off approach to employee development.
• Always-on managers, who provide constant, frequent feedback and coaching on all aspects of the employee's performance.
• Connector managers, who provide feedback in their area of expertise while connecting employees to others in the team or organization who are better suited to address specific needs.
Although the four types of managers are more or less evenly distributed, the Connector manager consistently outperforms the others by a significant margin. Meanwhile, Always-on managers tend to see their employees struggle to grow within the organization. Why is that?
Drawing on their groundbreaking data-driven research, as well as in-depth case studies and extensive interviews with managers and employees at companies like IBM, Accenture, and eBay, the authors show what behaviors define a Connector manager, and why they are able to build powerhouse teams. They also show why other types of managers fail to be equally effective, and how they can incorporate behaviors of Connector managers in order to be more effective at building teams.
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|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
It’s 3:21 on a Wednesday afternoon in San Francisco. Marta Romero walks back to her office from one of her many meetings— exhausted. She has nine minutes before her next meeting with one of her direct reports, Jon Goldberg, who has been having trouble with one of his projects. He is working on launching a new development application. Romero takes a deep breath and exhales— she has been out of the weeds of development for a while and doesn’t have the new technical knowledge to help him. She glances at her list of things to do for that day, which are increasing in number as the day progresses, and clicks control + alt + delete to wake up her computer. Thirty- two emails are waiting for her. Romero feels the tension of managing her own workload while simultaneously trying to coach her staff as they navigate all of their projects— many that require skills and knowledge she doesn’t have. She pauses for a minute and considers whether to push the meeting with Goldberg . . . again. She already rescheduled it earlier this month.
On any given day around the globe the plight of today’s managers mirrors Romero’s. Urgent tasks take precedence over an ever-expanding list of expectations and demands. To‑do items, including coaching responsibilities, become “as if” wish lists— and the world spins madly on. Something has to give, but what?
In many instances, like Romero’s, the coaching and feedback interactions managers would like to have fall by the wayside. Beyond constant time constraints, many managers simply lack confidence in their ability to provide the right guidance across the increasing breadth and depth of employee activities. The result is that managers put off coaching, prioritizing so many other urgent activities, or just “wing it” when asked to help in areas where they lack expertise.
Until now, Romero’s trajectory has been successful. Having climbed the ranks of her midsize technology company, from individual software developer to manager of a thirty-person team, Romero knows that a key to her own success is helping her team become more self-sufficient. She also knows that some work is just easier to do herself than pass along to others, even if it means that emerging tasks have to wait on the back burner until she has the time to get more involved. On a good day, Romero serves as the heart of her team, firing on all cylinders as a subject-matter expert and adviser to her employees. On a bad day, she leaves the office feeling guilty for failing to provide the guidance her employees need.
As research and advisory leaders at Gartner, we spend hundreds of hours every year speaking with senior executives globally, and we continually hear that manager development is a top priority. We know that the effectiveness of managers has a huge impact on employee performance, engagement, and business results across organizations of all sizes, industries, and geographies—and companies are making significant investments to elevate manager preparedness through training, coaching, and technology. In reality, regardless of these investments, our data consistently show that managers simply don’t have what they need to succeed in today’s fast-moving, ever- evolving environment.
But that’s not the complete story. In our work, we also see managers around the globe struggling to “be everything to everyone.” As employees’ jobs become more complex and challenging, so too do managers’ roles. As managers, we feel this ourselves. Organizations are changing quickly, technology is altering how we collaborate with our globally dispersed teams, and the skills we need to lead our teams are changing fast. Employees feel unprepared and they are demanding more from their managers and their organizations. And we see companies responding accordingly— by launching continuous coaching and feedback initiatives, requiring managers to spend more time providing ongoing development to all of their employees across the board. However, managers and leaders are learning that these programs are not achieving their desired outcomes. Managers are overwhelmed and simply not in a position to continuously coach all of their employees effectively across all of their needs.
After extensive research, we have found a better path forward. Rather than trying to “be everything to everyone” and serving as the only answer for all employee needs, the Connector manager approach offers a more enlightened option. It provides the essential coaching and development that employees need, while also providing relief for managers stretched thin and searching for something better.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 What Type of Manager Are You? 1
Chapter 2 The Limits of the Always On Manager 31
Chapter 3 The Connector Manager 55
Chapter 4 The Employee Connection: (Really) Get to Know Your Employees 87
Chapter 5 The Team Connection: Make Development a Team Sport 119
Chapter 6 The Organization Connection: Ensure Better-Not Just More-Connections 149
Chapter 7 Creating a Connector Company 173
Conclusion: Becoming Super Connectors 199
Appendix 1 Connector Manager Action Plan 210
Appendix 2 Quiz: What Type of Manager Are You? 216
Appendix 3 Connector Manager Tool Kit 224