When I listen to senior executives talk about their first- and second-line managers, I sometimes get pretty concerned. That happens when I hear what I call “good enough” thinking.
“Yeah, he’s not great, but he’s good enough.”
“She’s doing a solid job, but nothing too inspirational.”
“He’s not a great manager, but he can stay on top of the business.”
The purpose of this post is a to provide a brief inspirational reminder: good enough isn’t.
I know why executives and managers fall victim to “good enough” thinking:
- Hiring is hard
- Management is hard
- Hiring managers is therefore hard^2
So while most executives demand excellence from their front-line employees, they seem to dial back their expectations when it comes to management. The only thing scarier than hiring new salesreps or product managers is hiring sales managers or product management directors. Scary though it may be, it’s their job to do so.
In mulling this, I have come up with a simple test to determine if you managers are good enough:
EVERY EMPLOYEE SHOULD HAVE A MANAGER TO WHOM THEY LOOK UP AND FROM WHOM THEY CAN LEARN.
If your managers don’t pass that test, then maybe they shouldn’t be managing.
This goes both ways. Managers need to hire people they look up to and can learn from.