The 2 responsibilities of a manager

The Effective Manager by Mark Horstman says that a manager has 2 responsibilities:

  1. Achieve results
  2. Retain people

Number 2 is obvious, but number 1 is rare in my experience. If you’re a manager, do you know what results you should be achieving right now? How are those measured? How are you doing on them?

The book says this:

For many managers, this creates a problem. You probably can’t name your top five key results that you owe your organization this year. You most likely can’t tick off on your fingers, with ease, the key things for which you’re responsible. You may be able to say, “My boss wants me to focus in these areas,” but that’s not enough. You can’t quantify what is expected of you.

About the only way to really feel good about what your responsibilities are is to have quantified goals, in numbers and percentages: “Higher than 92 percent call quality each week”; “Achieve 1.6 MM in sales”; “Maintain gross margins above 38 percent”; “Reduce shipping losses by 2.7 percent cumulatively year over year.” (If not having these kinds of goals frustrates or worries you, perhaps you think that everyone else has clear goals. But don’t worry. They probably don’t either.)

Mark Horstman, The Effective Manager

I feel called out. Do you?

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