Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Leaders and the Pictures They See

Contrary to popular belief that leaders, especially those at the top, should be looking mostly at the big pictures, it would benefit much if these top leaders are also knowledgeable and aware of the small pictures and their details. We are surprised now and then when we hear management guys who can list down the steps of a certain process and enumerate the sequence with complete details, and we would appreciate what they would be talking about, albeit their focus is already different.


While it is true that top management folks are focused mainly on keeping the cost down, and hitting a short cycle time, and ensuring a good, if not the best, quality products, it is not an excuse, as it definitely is a plus factor if they also know what is happening at the bottom of the organization. We’ve seen cases of companies failing because top management people simply cannot make the right decision as the data provided to them by their subordinates are incorrect, and even if presented to them, they don’t have the knowledge to spot the error. This is such a pity.


Of course, we know that top management leaders know a lot more and are preoccupied with many things more than we can ever imagine, but that is the price to pay for being at the top. Or is it?


At the most, the good top management people are those who see the big picture, and yet can go down to zoom in to the details. They have the flexibility to zoom in and zoom out, as and when necessary. They are not inhibited by their position, but rather, their position gives them the authority and opportunity to do the necessary checks, view the situation from different angles, consider the issue from different perspectives, then make the best decision for the company.


But then again, this is easier said than done, ins’t it?


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