Who is running the store? Who is in charge of reaching your goals? Management doesn't necessarily mean doing the work. But it does mean keeping an eye on what's happening, helping as needed, giving guidance and insights, and keeping people on task to get results. That means daily accountability, weekly accountability, monthly accountability, and annual accountability.
One mistake a lot of managers make is that they think they are looking at a KPI when in fact they're looking at a target. So, for instance, if I'm a manager of a sales team and the only thing I measure is whether a sale closes—if the only question I ask is “Did we get the deal done or didn't we?”—then I am ignoring every other potential metric before that closed deal. That's too bad, because those earlier metrics can help my team affect their outcomes. You can't really change the outcome by the time the end result is in your hand!
Of course, some people like to talk a lot about improving a team's closing skills, but the reality is that success in sales is much more likely to correlate with other activities that come long before the close. My point is that it's not just like that in the world of sales. It's like that just about everywhere.
A more effective manager won't wait until the sales team is hurtling toward the end of the quarter to tell them what they already know: They need to reach the finish line on time.
I like to tell managers something I learned from my friend Dan Burrus, author ...