Chapter 5Get Work Done in an Efficient and Focused Way

Perhaps your biggest responsibility as a manager, in terms of day-to-day priorities, is making sure work is done in an efficient and focused way. Of course, good managers are highly attuned to the “people” side of their job, as we discuss in later chapters, but the focus here is primarily on the efficient coordination and alignment of tasks. Think of the firm as a well-oiled machine, where everything links together in beautiful alignment – that is what you should be aiming for.

Unfortunately, most large firms are nothing like well-oiled machines, for two reasons. First, they are often so large and complex that people are oblivious to what is happening elsewhere, and senior executives – even with the best will in the world – struggle to provide a coherent message to everyone. Second, the bigger the firm, the further removed individual employees are from the fruits of their labor, and the harder it is to keep them motivated to continuously improve on their performance.

This chapter provides a set of tools and techniques you can use to improve efficiency and focus in day-to-day work. The first two are high-level techniques that you will partly be on the receiving end of, specifically translating the firm's mission into goals that people understand (#26) and aligning people's objectives with corporate goals (#27). The others are techniques that you should use with members of your teams to help achieve your objectives. Two are ...

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