The manager

From leading women to feuding Monkees

Special to The Globe and Mail

Managers can take a lesson from the Monkees made-for-TV pop group, who proved that internal conflict isn't a barrier to success. (Reuters/Reuters)

From the power of female leaders to the risks of “career doom loop,” here’s a roundup of eclectic ideas to help you as a manager:

Women are better

A survey of more than 7,000 leaders by Utah-based leadership consulting firm Zenger/Folkman, reported on Harvard Business Review blogs, found that at every level in the hierarchy, more women were rated by their peers, bosses, direct reports, and other associates as better overall leaders than their male counterparts – and the higher the level in the organization at which the executive operated, the wider that gap.

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Women didn’t excel only in the nurturing skills such as collaboration, building relations, and developing others, but also in taking initiative, driving for results, developing stretch goals, and championing change. Other strong areas: practising self-development, and displaying high integrity and honesty.

Women were found to lag men, marginally, when it comes to developing strategic perspective, but survey authors Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman note that top leaders generally score higher on this attribute and far more men than women are top leaders so that could be a factor in the ratings.

Slow your e-mail

Productivity expert Thanh Pham advises you on the Lifehack blog to not always respond immediately to e-mail, so people don’t come to expect a response within five or 10 minutes. This will lead people to phone about urgent matters – the best way of handling those – and use e-mail to deal with routine matters at a slower, more acceptable pace.

Grumpy? Stay at home

Alberta-based consultant Michael Kerr, in his Humor At Work newsletter, reports that the Orlando Peabody Hotel requires that of its all employees sign a pledge promising that they will not come to work grumpy.

The power of CEO ads

A study by California-based Ace Metrix ad-testing firm, which was reported on Forbes.com, found that, in general, advertisements featuring chief executive officers outperform ads that do not feature CEOs.

Although these ads are most common in the restaurant industry, they worked elsewhere as well, as long as the CEOs weren’t dull and boring, and came across as authentic.

Beware of career doom loop

The model of “career doom loop,” developed by Charles Jett, says that people start in a job they like that they are not good at and progress, successively, to the job being one they like and are good at; then, it’s a job they no longer like that they are good at; and, finally, they don’t like their job and aren’t good at it.

Toronto-based consultant Glain Roberts-McCabe, on the Executive Roundtable blog, warns that when you are managing a fast-tracker, don’t stick your head in the sand when you see the boredom factor setting in because that employee will end up hitting the bottom of the doom loop.

“To keep these ambitious types engaged, you have to throw them into a situation that they’re excited about but not good at yet,” she says. “Yes, this might mean transferring them to another department to get a new set of experiences, and that means you’re going to have to deal with a hole on your team … but really, isn’t that better than them walking out the door and taking all their [intellectual property]to your competitor?”

Dysfunction and the Monkees

Human resources consultant Laurie Ruettimann, based in Raleigh, N.C., notes on her Cynical Girl blog that even though its members fought like cats and dogs, the Monkees pop group turned out songs that were big hits with fans, demonstrating that conflict does not preclude being successful as a team.



Special to The Globe and Mail