DIRECT REPORTS & The Breaking Point is 10-12 Direct Reports

by Lighthouse: A Blog About Leadership & Management, 7/4/15.

The breaking point: 10-12 direct reports

We’ve had managers of all levels of experience and team size use Lighthouse to help them manage and motivate their teams and the common pattern we’ve seen is managers struggle most with more than 10-12 reports. It’s at 10-12 people that the complexity and demands become too great for even a well-trained, experienced manager. Just look at the diagram above and how a team growing from 6 to 10 people causes the lines of communication to grow from 15 to 45 (and 66 by employee #12!). But don’t take my word for it, here’s what some experts have said:

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, has a “2 Pizza Rule” which really translates to ~8 people, since a pizza is normally cut into 8 slices and 2 slices per person is a reasonable amount.

Michael Lopp, author of Rands in Repose, uses the formula 7 +/- 3, which crucially takes into account how much time you could be committed to in 1 on 1s with everyone on your team.

Tomas Tunguz, VC at RedPoint Ventures deep dives into the concept from many sources to conclude “roughly 7″ and explores how “Span of Control” and “Span of Responsibility” impact it.

The consensus appears to be that double digit team sizes are generally a sign of trouble for a manager. So what do you do? Start developing leaders on your team.

Read more at … http://getlighthouse.stfi.re/blog/developing-leaders-team-grows-big/?sf=eyvzx

TEAMWORK & Keys to Developing Leaders When Your Team Grows Too Big

by Lighthouse: A Blog About Leadership & Management, 7/4/15.

…As your team grows, it becomes geometrically more complex to manage your team. As this image from StackOverflow below shows, every person you add to a team adds many more lines of communication, making everything harder for your team. developing leaders lines of communication stackoverflowAnd as a manager, you’re caught in the middle of this. As your team grows, there are more tasks to delegate and outcomes to manage, more communication issues to navigate, and more interests and motivations to consider. As those issues build up, it then becomes easy to have soft skills slip. Unfortunately, it’s exactly then, when you don’t give everyone the attention, feedback, and coaching they need, you all lose. Your team can easily slip into disorder or simply resentment for you as you break promises, forget what matters to them, and struggle under the growing stress.

The breaking point: 10-12 direct reports

We’ve had managers of all levels of experience and team size use Lighthouse to help them manage and motivate their teams and the common pattern we’ve seen is managers struggle most with more than 10-12 reports. It’s at 10-12 people that the complexity and demands become too great for even a well-trained, experienced manager. Just look at the diagram above and how a team growing from 6 to 10 people causes the lines of communication to grow from 15 to 45 (and 66 by employee #12!). But don’t take my word for it, here’s what some experts have said:

  • Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, has a “2 Pizza Rule” which really translates to ~8 people, since a pizza is normally cut into 8 slices and 2 slices per person is a reasonable amount.
  • Michael Lopp, author of Rands in Repose, uses the formula 7 +/- 3, which crucially takes into account how much time you could be committed to in 1 on 1s with everyone on your team.
  • Tomas Tunguz, VC at RedPoint Ventures deep dives into the concept from many sources to conclude “roughly 7″ and explores how “Span of Control” and “Span of Responsibility” impact it.

The consensus appears to be that double digit team sizes are generally a sign of trouble for a manager. So what do you do? Start developing leaders on your team.

Read more at … http://getlighthouse.stfi.re/blog/developing-leaders-team-grows-big/?sf=eyvzx

COMMUNICATION & Seven Habits Of Fearless People #ForbesMagazine

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “This article explains how to communicate to your team and build teamwork. One of the most important rules is #3, which is talk to the person directly, not to others. And #4 is to make the rest of your team follow #3.”

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2015/06/13/seven-habits-of-fearless-people/

TEAMWORK & What Makes an Organization “Networked”? #HarvardBusinessReview

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel; “People usually misunderstand the meaning of an organizational “network.” I’ve written a chapter about this in my book ORGANIX (Abingdon Press). But General Stanley McChrystal in his new book “Team of Teams” emphasizes that in the new “networked organization” we should create small informal networks that can morph and be ended as needed. These team-nets (my term) can be added to your existing organizational structure. General McChrystal created these teams among his fighting forces without changing the Army’s organizational structure. This means the “new network organization” creates short term task-forces or team-nets that organically get things done without changing the organizational structure. This is the same tactic I advocate we embrace in the church. For more on these new networks see this article in Harvard Business Review.”

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2015/06/what-makes-an-organization-networked

LEADERSHIP & 4 Kinds of Behavior Account for 89 Percent of Leadership Effectiveness

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 1/11/15.

Research by the McKinsey Organization on 189,000 leaders in 81 diverse organizations4 around the world discovered there are four (4) reoccurring behaviors in effective leaders. These “four kinds of behavior account for 89 percent of leadership effectiveness.”

Over the years I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to mentor and counsel some of the best leaders in America. And I can confirm the McKinsey Organization’s conclusions about these being the four recurring behaviors of effective leaders.

Below is a McKenzie research summary of each behavior, with a short application by myself regarding how each behavior may apply to ministry leaders.

Use these behaviors as a guide in hiring and leadership development.

(McKinsey Organization) Solving problems effectively. The process that precedes decision making is problem solving, when information is gathered, analyzed, and considered. This is deceptively difficult to get right, yet it is a key input into decision making for major issues (such as M&A) as well as daily ones (such as how to handle a team dispute).

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Problems solvers do not run away from problems or ignore them, but tackle them head-on in a unifying and teambuilding way. They are known in the organization as problem-solvers.

(McKinsey Organization) Operating with a strong results orientation. Leadership is about not only developing and communicating a vision and setting objectives but also following through to achieve results. Leaders with a strong results orientation tend to emphasize the importance of efficiency and productivity and to prioritize the highest-value work.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Skilled leaders care about results more than micromanaging the process. As Mike Breen says they ‘have high accountability, but low control.’ High accountability is the key – which means having specific results to which everyone agrees and that are realistic, attainable and celebrated when they are met.”

(McKinsey Organization) Seeking different perspectives. This trait is conspicuous in managers who monitor trends affecting organizations, grasp changes in the environment, encourage employees to contribute ideas that could improve performance, accurately differentiate between important and unimportant issues, and give the appropriate weight to stakeholder concerns. Leaders who do well on this dimension typically base their decisions on sound analysis and avoid the many biases to which decisions are prone.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Today’s skilled leader stays abreast of innovations and changes in ministry culture. They don’t go by gut instincts or what’s worked in the past but do their research before a change is made. They then know how to explain these changes in ways that motivate and unite the workers.”

(McKinsey Organization) Supporting others. Leaders who are supportive understand and sense how other people feel. By showing authenticity and a sincere interest in those around them, they build trust and inspire and help colleagues to overcome challenges. They intervene in group work to promote organizational efficiency, allaying unwarranted fears about external threats and preventing the energy of employees from dissipating into.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Skilled leaders work hard to find out what motivates each employee. They do this not for their own success, but for the team’s success. Like a counselor they are sensitive to the hopes, aspirations and needs of those they lead. They create trust and confidence in their leadership because it is rooted in understanding those they lead.”FIGURE McKinsey Org. Health Index 4 Leadership BEHAVIORS

Read more at … http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/leading_in_the_21st_century/decoding_leadership_what_really_matters

LEADERSHIP & Why Great Leaders Are More Risk Averse Than You Think #IncMagazine

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “From this Inc. Magazine article you will learn that great leaders take many small risks, instead of taking large risks. The three lessons are: 1) Cut expenses, not employees, 2) take small risks, not large risks that might sink the company (per Jim Collins in ‘Great by Choice,’ and 3) recruit a great team and delegate.”

Read more at … http://www.inc.com/aj-agrawal/why-great-leaders-are-more-risk-averse-than-you-think.html

TEAMWORK & The Evolution Of The Employee #ForbesMagazine #ORGANIXbook

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “If you don’t have time to read the watershed book, ‘The future of work: attract new talent, build better leaders and create a competitive organization,” then check this review which depicts in an #InfoGraphic the difference between the old work environment and the new work environment. Then find out more how these two environments relate to the church in “ORGANIX: Signs of leadership in a changing church (Abingdon Press, 2012).

IMG_0936

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobmorgan/2014/09/02/the-evolution-of-the-employee/

VOLUNTEERS & The Key To Their Engagement Has Less To Do With Management Than You’d Think

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:Engagement is creating a passion in your volunteers and employees for the mission of the organization. This article points to several key elements for creating passion. One of the most important elements is to let front-line workers have more input into the processes and methods of the organization. This reminds me of how John Wesley often sought the input of the average society attendee to better design what came to be known as ‘Wesley’s methods’.”

by Mark Lunkens, Fast Company Magazine, 5/20/14

Read more at … http://www.fastcompany.com/3030710/the-key-to-employee-engagement-has-less-to-do-with-management-than-youd-think?partner=rss