Making a difference


Photo by tawalker

A few days ago I was reading a very interesting post titled: “The One Thing Every Manager Must Learn” by the “Incentive Intelligence” blog.  This is the main idea:

But the bottom line is that you only need to train your Managers to do one thing…


Train Managers to say this to every employee at least once a week (if it is true of course)…

You made a difference by ____________ .

I like it. It really crystallizes what a manager should do. Focus on making his employees excel at what they do. And treat each and everyone differently because everybody is different. One of the most important ways to do that is by recognition and validation of their actions. But in order to excel, they need more than just recognition, they need to find their strength, or what they can excel at.

Last week we had an exam in operations management. One of the questions in the exam asked us to compare the Japanese principal of Poke Yoke with the idea of control charts that are used monitor quality. The main idea of the answer (or at least I hope it is…) is that there is a difference between preventing the problem before it occurs and with monitoring it after it occurs. Albert Einstein said: “Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them”.

A manager’s job is to help each individual find the right way for him to make a difference. To find his strength. And then help push him to use it. The “you made a difference sentence” is like the control chart. It is the way we check the results each week. But we cannot allow ourselves as managers to be passive. A manager’s job is an active one.

So yes, I agree that this is the most important thing you need to know as a manager. But, we need to understand that this weekly saying must have substance behind it all through the week. Then, you will be able to complete the sentence not only for you employees, but for yourself as well.

So, how did you make a difference this week?