No Margin No Good
Posted by Claude Warner on Wednesday 2nd March 2011 at 11:36:24
In Jack Welch’s autobiography we see his contribution to the performance management culture that is the norm today.
By applying the 20/70/10 principle, below average performers were removed and the high performers or stars were identified, rewarded and fast tracked. By continuously raising the bar on performance any slack or margin was brought to the fore and eliminated.
It is imperative to remain competitive by improving efficiency through constantly improving technology, refining business processes and improving human performance.
As a leader you leverage your influence through the work of others, but you are also required to bring your pound of flesh. The law of the Conservation of Energy says that matter cannot be created nor destroyed, and that includes time.
So this is how it works. Your department had 4 managers, of which a position is eliminated, leading to a 25% increase in workload. No problem, instead of leaving work at 5.00, you leave at 7.00.
Next thing you require another 2 hours a day. You go home at 7, have dinner, chat to your wife, and work from 9 to 11. Eventually you are falling into bed at 1, working Saturdays, so can’t make your kids sports games, and Sundays you are so exhausted that you are not present for your family.
As your margin is whittled away your family suffers, your marriage suffers, and your health suffers. Ultimately you could end up with a dysfunctional family or worse, divorced, as well as needing a triple bypass.
Sound familiar? Is this the path you are on? You may be OK with that, but the bottom line, no matter what the media spindoctors tell you, you can’t have it all.
You have to decide what your personal definition of success is, and how much margin you are prepared to sacrifice?
A meaningful question you can ask yourself is “How do I maintain adequate margin in my life?”
Remember, No Margin is No Good.
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