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Home > About Us > News and Articles > World Class Managers


Someone asked me awhile back how I would define a World Class manager. I didn't have a ready answer, but I agreed to think about it and get back to him. This vignette is my response. I thought it might be useful to our readers.

Dave R. Dixon

World Class managers develop work groups whose capabilities match up with those of high performance teams anywhere in the world. Given enough of these work groups, a company becomes a World Class competitor.

Work groups (or teams) are measured by the quantity, quality, and timeliness of their output. And of course, it is the effective integration of individual efforts that determine the productivity of the group and the quality of its output. So a World Class manager is necessarily focused on the success of every individual in the group. He or she will possess attitudes and skills that develop the following characteristics in every team member:

Intolerance for poor quality.
Active interest in group success.
Willingness and ability to keep the flow.
A commitment to continuous improvement (and suggestions to support the commitment).
An interest in production.
Knowledge of one's job.
Knowledge of other's jobs.
Willingness to assist compatriots.
Ability to measure one's own output.
Ability to measure one's own quality.
Knowledge of the product.
Knowledge of the process.
Willingness and ability to work with others to solve problems and make decisions.
These characteristics are developed through a caring, respectful attitude toward members of the group that is manifest by a consistent approach to setting expectations, measuring performance and rewarding success. These managers see themselves primarily as mentors, coaches and teachers.

You won't recognize a World Class manager when you see her. Look instead for the work group with the highest quality, the best productivity, the lowest turn-over, the lowest absenteeism and the highest paid employees. Then look for their leader. She will be off somewhere running interference for the group--maybe even having coffee. After all, this bunch really doesn't need a boss.