Your People’s Performance Is A Reflection Of Your Performance

It’s impossible to be a top performing manager if your people aren’t performing!

Yeah, I know that elicits a “Duuggghhh” response, but I’m not sure many managers have really internalized this.

It’s far too easy to blame your people–“They aren’t doing the right things, They’re lazy, They may not be the right people, ……”

All that may, in fact, be absolutely true!

But when you peel things back a little, asking, “Why is it this way?”  “Who’s accountable for this?”  It always comes back to the manager.

Every manager’s job is to get their people performing at the highest levels possible.  Not everyone will be a top performer, but everyone needs to meet the organization’s standards for performance.

If they aren’t then it’s a performance failure on the part of the manager.

Managers are accountable for finding the right people.  They are responsible for making sure each individual understands their role, expectations of performance, how they will be measured, and how performance will be evaluated.

Managers are responsible for making sure they are trained, they have the right skills and capabilities to do their jobs.   Managers need to put in place the processes, systems, and tools to help people perform.

Managers need to constantly be coaching and developing their people, identifying areas of improvement, identifying and dealing with consistent performance issues.

Every manager will have some people who aren’t performing well.  No manager can ignore these people–they drag the performance of the entire organization down.

If a manager is not addressing these issues, if a manager does not have a plan in place for making sure everyone on the team is maximizing their potential, then the manager is simply not performing.

I hear issues, complaints, from managers daily.  I know these aren’t easy issues–but if they were easy, why would we need highly talented managers?  To be honest, I don’t have a high tolerance level for these complaints or excuses.

The job of a manager is very clear, it’s to get things done through our people.  It’s to make sure our people understand their jobs and are performing at the highest levels possible.  Anyone accepting a role as a manager is accepting the responsibility and accountability for doing these things.

If the team isn’t performing, it may be the team’s fault–but first, it’s the manager’s fault.  It’s the performance failure of the manager that is the biggest issue that must be addressed.

If you are a manager and are having performance issues with your team, look first at yourself.  Are you doing your job?  Are you doing the things your team needs you to be doing to maximize performance?  Are you working with each individual, do you have a plan in place, are you getting them the support and resources they need?  Is your manager doing her job in helping you do these things?

Before you point a finger at your people, first examine your own performance.

A version of this post was first published on on 1/20/2016.


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