Some need a lot. Reams and reams of paper churned out every month by willing minions who never challenge why they’re being asked to prepare such detailed statistics and analysis.
For this type of leader the numbers are like a comfort blanket. He or she doesn’t really need them but the fact that they are there reassures them. They have a sense that they’re doing their job properly and are projecting to staff their detailed level of interest in the performance of their business.
But there’s a big problem. Several problems in fact.
First off—there are so many numbers that the leader cannot see the wood for the trees. Ditto the management team, who don’t know how to interpret the tome they’re given each month.
Secondly, the generation of endless numbers becomes an industry. People can’t get on with their work because they’re too busy analyzing and compiling statistics.
Thirdly, the business becomes dangerously inward looking rather than watching its markets and competitors.
I believe an effective leader has a different attitude to management information. The effective leader starts from a ‘what do I need to know to make the decisions I need to make’ base. He or she also demands the same attitude from members of the management team to their functions. That way, they come armed with executive summaries and recommendations for action and the business focuses on its priorities.
It is, as with so many things in business, a classic case of less is more.
Tags: analyzing attitude classic case comfort blanket decisions ditto effective leader endless numbers executive summaries job management information many things minions numbers priorities reams of paper statistics trees