Today I want to speak about Acknowledgement and Action respectively the third and fourth A’s in improving managerial effectiveness. To recap, the Four A’s (Awareness, Appreciation, Acknowledgement and Action) refer to the mindset and behavior of individual managers. Unfortunately we live in a time plagued by blame and denial. How often have you heard someone either deny they had anything to do with an outcome or blame a co-worker or other department for poor performance? It’s rampant.
Acknowledging your part in a particular outcome is an important step in taking responsibility for one’s actions. I recall a situation when I was President of a professional association years ago. We had our annual awards dinner and did not sell enough tickets to cover our budgeted costs. Even though we ended the year in the black I felt it imperative to call Board members and take responsibility for the failure of the dinner fundraising initiative. I also felt it was important to model good managerial accountability. Being authentic requires acknowledging the impact your decisions or behavior have on others. When you are the senior executive you must acknowledge responsibility. The one caveat I’d say is that in a positive situation you want to praise the efforts of those who helped along the way.
Taking action is also something we need to do more of in organizations. I’ve been with many clients who’d rather wait and see what happens than act on the courage of their convictions. We forget that our employees model their behavior on ours and get frustrated with them when they don’t act as quickly as we’d like. Taking action doesn’t mean taking giant steps. As those who have participated in recovery programs know all to well taking one step at a time in the right direction keeps you on the right path. Too many of us have gotten mired in our own procrastination. Wanting to be or do the best we become paralyzed. Some refer to it as analysis paralysis. Taking action even small steps helps us to be more effective.
Let us know how you are using the Four A’s to improve your managerial leadership.