Beware of the Busy Manager - Highlights
This seminal article contributes to creating a powerful “business case” for the need for focus and execution within organizations today.
For ten years, Heike Bruch and Sumantra Ghoshal studied the behavior of busy managers. They found that, fully 90% of managers squander their time in all sorts of ineffective activities. This article helps in identifying which managers are making a real difference and which just look or sound busy.
The authors claim that today, 30% of managers lack focus, energy and procrastinate. Roughly, 20% of managers are disengaged. They exhibit high focus but have lower levels of energy. They have strong reservations about the jobs they are asked to do, and are often plagued by feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, anger, frustration, and alienation. More than 40% of managers are distracted. They are well intentioned, highly energetic but unfocused who confuse frenetic motion with construction action. They find themselves over-committed, and wind up constantly fighting fires or abandoning the projects.
A mere 10% of managers spend their time in a committed, purposeful, and reflective manner. Both focus and energy are critical traits. Together, they produce the kind of purposeful action organizations need most. Heike and Sumantra conclude in this article that when corporate leaders make a sincere effort to give managers both challenge and choice, most managers can learn to direct their energy and improve their focus – and ultimately find their way.