FOCUS ON CONTRIBUTION
The question "what should I contribute?"
gives freedom because it gives responsibility.
The great majority of executives tend to focus
downward. They are occupied with efforts rather than with results. They
worry over what the organization and their superiors "owe"
them and should do for them. And they are conscious above all of the
authority they "should have". As a result, they render
themselves ineffectual. The effective executives focuses on
contribution. He looks up from his work and outward toward goals. He
asks: "What can I contribute that will significantly affect the
performance and the result of the institution I serve?" His stress
is on responsibility.
The focus on contribution is the key to
effectiveness: in a person's own work- its content, its level, its
standards, and its impacts; in his relations with others- his superiors,
his associates, his subordinates; in his use of the tools of the
executive such as meetings or reports. The focus on contribution turns
the executive's attention away from his own specialty, his own narrow
skills, his own department, and toward the performance of the whole. It
turns his attention to the outside, the only place where there are
ACTION POINT: Maintain a constant focus on the
contribution you can and should make to your organization.
Appraisals- and the philosophy behind them- are far
too much concerned with "potential".
Effective executives usually work out their own
unique form of performance appraisals. It starts out with a statement of
the major contributions expected from a person in his past and present
positions and a record of his performance against these goals. Then it
asks four questions:
1. What has he (or she) done well?
2. What, therefore, is he likely to be able to do well?
3. What does he have to learn or to acquire to be able to get the full
benefit from his strength?
4. If I had a son or daughter, would I be willing to have him or her
work under this person?
a) If yes, Why?
b) If no, Why?
This appraisal actually takes a much more critical
look at a person than the usual procedure does. But it focuses on
strengths. Weaknesses are seen as limitations to the full use of
strengths and to one's own achievement, effectiveness, and
accomplishment. The last question (b) is the only one that is not
primarily concerned with strengths. Subordinates, especially bright,
young and ambitious ones, tend to mold themselves after a forceful boss.
There is, therefore, nothing more corrupting and more destructive in an
organization than a forceful but basically corrupt executive. Here,
therefore, is the one area where weakness is a disqualification by
itself rather than a limitation on performance capacity and strength.
Adhere to the four questions in this reading when conducting performance
"Human nature being what it is, most people will
take the easiest course of action. They will sell the products which are
easiest to sell, and will work hardest for the people they like and who
support them."JOHN ROCK, Australian sales,
marketing and management consultant.
"Meetings are indispensable when you don't want
to do anything."JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH,
Canadian-born American economist.
"To err is human, to forgive divine."ALEXANDER POPE, British satirist
"Experience is the name everyone gives to their
mistakes."OSCAR WILDE, Irish playwright
"A bank is a place that will lend you money if
you can prove that you don't need it."BOB HOPE, American comedian and
"Time is money"ENGLISH PROVERB
"Sometimes the most effective motivation is just
to say 'Thank You'."ZIG ZIGLAR, American sales
trainer and motivator.
"It were not best that we should all think
alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse-races."MARK TWAIN, American journalist,
editor and author
"Advertising can get people into a store, but it
can't make them buy."ANON