I have been a HUGE Tom Peters fan for years. I read In Search of Excellence and have been hooked ever since.
Recently TP has generously been sharing his collected wisdom in the form of the famous TP PPT slide sets. You will find them on his web site here.
There are 23 slide sets in total – more than 3500 slides of wisdom and/or provocation – one set that is particularly close to my heart is no 3 : First-line Supervisors Rule.
Here TP asks these 10 ‘Obvious’ questions
TEN “Obvious” Questions Concerning Your First-line Supervisors
1. Are you, Big Boss, a … formal student … of first-line supervisor behavioral excellence?* (*Yes, this sort of thing can be formally studied.)
2. Do you absolutely understand and act upon the fact that the first-line boss is the … KEY LEADERSHIP ROLE … in the organization? Technical mastery is important—but secondary.
3. Does HR single out first-line supervisors individually and collectively for tracking purposes and special/“over the top” developmental attention?
4. Do you spend gobs and gobs (and then more and more gobs and gobs) of time … selecting … the first-line supervisors? Are your selection criteria consistent with the enormity of the impact that first-line bosses will subsequently have?
5. Do you have the … ABSOLUTE BEST TRAINING & CONTINUING DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS IN THE INDUSTRY (or some subset thereof) … for first-line supervisors?
6. Do you formally and rigorously … mentor … first-line supervisors?
7. Are you willing, pain notwithstanding, to … leave a first-line supervisor slot open … until you can fill the slot with somebody spectacular? (And are you willing to use some word like … “spectacular” … in judging applicants for
8. Is it possible that … promotion decisions … for first-line supervisors are as, or even more, important than promotion decisions for the likes of VP slots? (Hint: Yes.)
9. Do you consider and evaluate the quality of your … full set/CADRE …. of first-line supervisors?
10. Are your first-line supervisors accorded the respect that the power of their position merits?