Archive for August, 2011
When I was at Microsoft, we had a very clever way to gain some further insight into the people development skills of managers.
Attrition, defined as people leaving the company, is generally viewed as a bad thing. But wait a minute. In just about any organization of some size, there are some poor performers, just like there are some super stars. When a superstar leaves the company, it is tragic. The chain of command of that superstar should be held accountable for that unfortunate loss. In fact, that is bad attrition.
When you have more people, eventually you start to have more layers in the organization. This creates an excess of bosses and that causes more meetings, more emails, and slows down the business and creates crippling bureaucracy.
A leader needs to be very careful about selecting the objective. In the case of PepsiCo, from a share holder and consumer perspective, it should strive to be the leader in beverages and snacks, and aggressively support its current products and new products with high future potential in those areas. They shouldn’t be focusing almost exclusively on something that is only 20% of revenue (PepsiCo’s “good for you” products).
One of the characteristics of tough decisions is the fact that you will never be able to get all the data you want in selecting an option. Hence, open, spirited debate over which path to take is valuable. Then, you need to make a decision. That is what separates managers from leaders.