Questions

I heard a fantastic illustration at a Masterclass I attended virtually, hosted by Eleanor Beaton that fits this to a T. She explained broad focus versus narrow focus using basketball. The point guard has to have broad and narrow focus. When he or she brings the ball down the court, they have to see the broad picture. That broad picture helps him to see where everyone is and to decide whether to pass the ball or create a play himself. That requires a narrowing of the focus. He can't see the hand that's up from his team mate asking him to pass them the ball if his focus is broad.

Are point guards born that way? No, it's a skill he or she develops. In the same way, a manager has to be able to move between broad and narrow focus aka inclusive yet focused. It takes effort to develop that skill.

My personal experience has been that the people who you manage don't expect you to be "nice." They do expect you to be fair. What makes them feel comfortable in your management style is the leadership you show. Can they trust your instincts? Have you invested enough in getting to know them individually such that they feel they can trust you even if they don't agree with you? Do you leverage their strengths in a way that makes them feel that their contribution matters? In essence, I discovered that problems with the people I was leading was more about me than it was about them.

Please feel free to contact me to discuss further. I've been managing people since I was 10 years old and even at a young age, older people respected me even then. You see, I was the choir director and musician of my first choir at that age and oftentimes these were people who were old enough to be my parents and grandparents. I learned skills then that I have served me well in leading others.


Answered 4 years ago

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