14

The attentive manager

Good managers must develop a total alertness to what is going on, at every level: gauging the environment and weighing up what needs to be done. We’ve had a run of complaints here. Why? What is the common theme? What are we doing wrong? The attentive manager – and ‘attentive’ is a key word – will be continually choosing where to focus attention and where not to, when to reflect and when to act. Mastering detail is a crucial part of this.

Attention to detail and the big picture are not opposed: they must be aligned. It’s all about scanning the horizon (Chapter 13) and examining the ground beneath our feet (Chapter 11). Only when we have done both will we see what has to be done and be ready to do it. Mastering both ...

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