Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

“What” flows down, “How” flows up

The most effective leaders I’ve known share a strong commitment to this principle: “What” flows downward, and “How” flows upward.

As leaders they recognize their responsibility to communicate what needs to happen:

  • We need a new strategy to increase sales by 10%
  • The system we use to capture citizen concerns is not working – let’s fix it.
  • We need to get buy-in from three other departments to make this work

And, they believe strongly that the team is responsible for communicating how the what gets done.

The leader’s primary job is to set the course; the team’s primary responsibility is to “make it so,” to borrow a line from Star Trek. This principle does not absolve the leader’s role in setting parameters – that’s equally important. “We need to figure out how to land that new client – and we must find a creative solution within our budget.”

2 + 2 = 4, right?

Focus on the outcome you want. “We need to get to four (metaphorically speaking).” As the leader, perhaps you’ve “gotten to four” many times – in fact, perhaps you’re an expert on it. Perhaps, in your experience, the best way to get there is by adding 2 + 2. Resist the urge to insist on your solution. You’ll stretch your people, and maybe even learn something yourself in the process, if you stop telling them how to get there. There are lots of ways to get to four: 3 + 1, 5 – 1, 2.5 + 1.5, and so on. Set some priorities (we have to use whole numbers, no long division, etc.) and expect the team (or the individual contributor) to figure out how.

Coach ’em! 

With the principle of what flows down, how flows up in mind, you will find opportunities to help your team determine the way forward. Remember that coaching doesn’t meaning telling someone how to do it, but rather helping them sort it out by asking good questions

  • What do you think would happen if we did it that way?
  • What kind of obstacles would your recommendation have to overcome?
  • How does your plan address the issues we have with getting support from other departments?

As you communicate with your team over the next week or so, listen to your input, and see whether you’ve focused more on the what, and less on the how.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is the sequel to the very popular “What Your Boss Never Told You.” Packed inside are more tips, techniques, and insights about the challenging, but rewarding leadership position.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is written in a conversational tone, as though you and the author were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about the issues that emerge for new leaders. It stands alone, and/or could be read before or after the first volume, “What Your Boss Never Told You.” You can start with any chapter and read in any order you like.

if you search for a book on management, you’ll find a staggering 600,000+ books currently available. How can you narrow that down? “What Your Boss Never Told You” is the best place to start.

No textbook here – this book is short and sweet. It’s designed to help you “unpack” your new job and be effective from the first day with your new team. It contains twenty-one chapters filled with the wisdom Winters has gathered from real managers – effective, successful leaders in organizations much like yours.

Leaders make decisions every day – big and small. Most know that if they include others in the decision-making process, the quality of those decisions – and the commitment to them – will likely improve. That said, they also know it’s impractical, if not impossible, to include others in every decision they confront.

“To Do or Not To Do” tackles the question of when to make decisions on your own, and when to involve your team. It gives you a deceptively simple but proven method to determine, when you are facing a difficult decision, how to decide how to decide.

Far too many meetings are dreadful, mind-numbing, energy-draining, productivity-sapping, colossal wastes of time. As someone once said, “To kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon.”

Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to learn and apply the techniques in “So, How Was Your Meeting?”, you’ll call fewer meetings, while vastly improving the ones you do lead. They’ll take less time, have more balanced participation, produce better decisions, and result in concrete action items for follow-up afterwards.

While there are thousands of books written for people about to retire, this may be the only book for people who manage soon-to-retire employees. Written in a casual, conversational style, “Managing the Soon To Retire Employee” will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

You can be successful with Sooners. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’ve learned right away.

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward. When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of ground rules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future. 

Have you been approached by management with an offer to promote you to supervision? Or, are you mulling over the possibility for the future? Find yourself not sure whether to accept the promotion?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Help! They Want to Make ME a Supervisor will help you sort out a very big question: Should you accept the offer to become a supervisor? Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision for you and for your organization.