Steps to Management Success – Step 1: Ten Clowns Don’t Make a Circus

Written By Rick Frishman Published March 27th, 2010


Ten Clowns Don’t Make a Circus

Any business, like any circus, requires a certain amount of diversity. You need different people to fill different roles—lion tamers, trapeze artists, and human cannonballs—or the show just doesn’t work.

WHAT IT MEANS: Cars have different systems and subsystems that must all do their job for the car to work—and so do companies. Other people’s roles (and backgrounds, personalities, perspectives, etc.) are quite likely to vary from yours—and that’s a good thing. For one thing, the characteristics that might make a great sales rep might make a terrible financial analyst (and vice versa). Second, having a diversity of thought (and thinkers) can help formulate more carefully considered decisions. Just because someone disagrees with you does not make him or her wrong. It takes all kinds to build a successful business—all kinds of skills, all kinds of positions, and all kinds of people.

ACTION PLAN: Try to be more open the next time someone at work disagrees with you. Don’t take it personally. Focus on what is being said, not on who is saying it.

EVEN BETTER: Nobody in a company has a monopoly on good ideas. You can tap into the collective wisdom, creativity, and experience of your workgroup by maintaining an open pipeline for their ideas, suggestions, and feedback to proposed new projects and policies. As a wise colleague of mine often says, “If you want to think outside the box, sometimes you have to journey outside the box.”

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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