How to Make Leadership Easier–Embrace the Numbers

(Part 3 if 7)

A manager said to me, “Following your suggestion, I began discussing our team’s metrics at all of our regular meetings.”

“And I suppose you got some push back,” I responded.

“I did. One employee blurted out, ‘We are nothing but a number to management.  They don’t care about us.’”

The manager continued, “Another member said, ‘I spend too much time recording data when I could be doing work.’  And another complained, ‘Some of these numbers contradict each other.’”

I understand that some complain about measurements and metrics, but the metrics will set you free.  Every organization runs on numbers—volume, costs, inventory turn, items delivered, retention, customer complaints and on and on.

“I watch the numbers like a hawk,” a successful leader admitted.  “When the numbers move in the right direction, we celebrate and continue.  When they go South, it is a strong signal that we need to do things differently.”

By stressing numbers, some leaders create a culture that may denigrate humans.  But the more successful leaders explain how they rely on the numbers to ensure success for the organization while providing opportunities for growth and fulfillment for employees.   

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