One of my jobs at Microsoft was running Microsoft’s Corporate Procurement Group.
This group was responsible for managing and influencing several billion dollars in purchases ranging from personal computers to marketing materials to outsourced services. My organization had about 30 procurement managers who resided at headquarters and worked with various organizations around Microsoft to help get better value for our purchases.
To better expand our global influence, we started working with procurement organizations in Microsoft subsidiaries around the world to understand their purchases and to find areas where we could partner.
What we learned was more than what we had anticipated; not necessarily about their purchases, but about how they worked and the importance of urgency versus importance in their jobs.
So let's get right into this....
Ever known a manager who held great respect of his or her team but was not respected by his or her management? Or maybe you've had a manager that just couldn't get things done effectively because he or she just didn't know how to "work the system"? Or even still, are you are a manager who is continually frustrated because you can't get your manager to do what you need him or her to do? If any of these sound familiar to you, welcome to the world of ineffective upward management.
This part two of a three-part series on Mastering Credibility. Part one is It's What You Know and part three is It's How You Deliver Results.
Ever since childhood, Mark had been known as an in-your-face competitor...
Whether it be in sports, in the classroom, or in relationships, he wasn't happy unless he beat someone else at whatever he was doing. Being in competition to Mark meant that he was going to do whatever he could to ensure he won and that his competitor lost. Those on his team loved his competitive spirit and encouraged it; those not on his team feared him. His behavior was validated through the number of trophies and medals he received while growing up.
As an adult his competitive spirit didn't wane. He became a feared negotiator in his company's purchasing organization and became known as a pompous ass who would stop at nothing to ensure that his suppliers were giving up as much as possible so his company could get a better deal. Suppliers hated to deal with him, but his company was too big to ignore so they put up with him.
Within a few months of my open door policy, I saw my own productivity drop and my frustration level rise because I kept getting interrupted by people taking me up on my open-door policy. My open-door policy soon turned into a series of random interruptions that caused me to not get my stuff done. I came to recognize that I needed to be accessible to people but that I could control the accessibility through scheduled time. Open-door means be accessible, not come in whenever you want.
Excerpted from The Project Management Advisor - 18 Major Project Screw-Ups And How To Cut Them Off At The Pass (Prentice Hall, 2004)
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