Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pick the Right People and Make More Money

By Dr Andree Swanson
"If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings—and put compensation as a carrier behind it—you almost don't have to manage them."
— Jack Welch
HR talent and acquisition people tend to place managers in three different categories: Top (executive), middle (middle management), and bottom (supervisory) (Kaiser, Craig, Overfield, & Yarborough, 2011, p. 84). 
Top level managers have a long time span for service from 5 to 20+ years).  Their primary skills are conceptual in nature (Kaiser et al.).
Conceptual thinking, according to Buffalo State College, is the "[a]bility to identify patterns or connections between situations that are not obviously related, and to identify key or underlying issues in complex situations." For an organization to be successful in a globally competitive and complex environment, organizations must hire managers with the intellectual ability to visualize what may not be apparent, then delegate to supervisors the task of strategy execution. (Houston, 2014, para. Conceptual Comptence). 
Great conceptual leaders have great vision.  Consider Martin Luther King… Bill Gates… Steve Jobs… What visionary leaders can you think of?  Why were they top conceptual leaders?

You know there is an ad out currently that talks about all the businesses that started in a garage.   Well, these businesses did not start through osmosis in the garage.  A man or woman was behind these ideas.  What visionaries were they?  The were great conceptual leaders and managers.

Take a look at a few at the blog:
I am personally grateful for # 9 and # 10.  Without them, I wouldn’t have had any Barbies and my house wouldn’t smell like a lemon meringue pie or cookies for Santa!
Picture provided by Dr. Andree Swanson
Middle management are the workers who keep the operations going.  They are also the managers that implement change within an organization.  They have it tough at times.

“Middle managers, it turns out, make valuable contributions to the realization of radical change at a company—contributions that go largely unrecognized by most senior executives. These contributions occur in four major areas” (Huy, 2001, para. 4).
Middle managers:
1.    Have entrepreneurial spirit and intentions
2.    Better communicators with the informal networks
3.    Strong emotional intelligence
4.    Maintain momentum in a changing organization (Huy).
Supervisors keep the systems running, whether they are dealing with people and their issues or product and its issues or machines and their issues.  Excellent supervisors have a strong impact on the financial statements of companies.  “Good bosses are a good deal better than bad ones. Replacing a supervisor from the bottom 10 percent of the pool with one from the top 10 percent increases output about as much as adding a 10th worker to a nine-worker team” (Yglesias, 2012, para. 4). Yglesias wrote about a research study on supervisors.  The results showed that good supervisors not only motivate employees but impact their productivity. “Make sure your most promising workers are paired up with the best supervisors. … teaching and learning are the essence of an effective boss/employee relationship. Good bosses … deliver concrete improvements in workers’ ability to get the job done” (Yglesias, para. 8).

Have you seen a supervisor not only motivate employees, but impact the bottom line?
Houston, G. (2014). Why is conceptual competence more important for top managers than for supervisors? DemandMedia. Retrieved from
Huy, Q. N. (2001, Sep.). In praise of middle managers. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from
Kaiser, R. B., Craig, S., Overfield, D. V., & Yarborough, P. (2011). Differences in managerial jobs at the bottom, middle, and top: A review of empirical research. Psychologist-Manager Journal, 14(2), 76-91. Doi:10.1080/10887156.2011.570137
Michael. (2014). 10 world famous companies that started in garages [blog]. Retrieved from
Yglesias, M. (2012, Oct). Who’s the boss? Retrieved from

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