Building a Better Manager Much Like Improving Your Golf Game

Today in the NY Times there is an article entitled The Quest to Build a Better Boss. It is essentially about how Google uses analytics to try and improve the quality of their managers. Having looked at many dozens of variables using data sources like manager feedback, surveys, performance reviews, and so on, the “people analytics” teams identified 8 ‘good behaviors’ that the best managers demonstrated. The article is a fascinating read, especially to those who are in the management profession.

For MorePars’ readers specifically, there are some analogues made to golf that are very insightful and we should all bear them in mind as we work on our games.

The article mentions there are seemingly a zillion tips out there to improve your game, but when you try and keep these all in hour head, you can face “paralysis by analysis.” Similarly, management also contains a multitude of do’s and don’ts. Just as in golf, you can read and memorize all these rules but to actually put them into practice is a much more difficult proposition. The great managers, just like the great golf pros, make it all look effortless. For the rest of us, it is a herculean struggle!

The takeaway here is perhaps narrow down what you are working on to a few key things; ones that will most impact your effectiveness. In the manager’s article, a crucial behavior to have was to “be a good coach. Provide specific, constructive feedback, balancing the negative and the positive.” For golf, and to score MorePars, a general behavior might be, “have a good short game, and be able to chip to within 6 feet and balance that with making the majority of your putts inside that range.”

Good luck and keep striving to make MorePars!

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