Infinity Consulting and Training Solutions

4 Things the Best Managers Do to Deliver Results that Crush the Competition


Few managers consistently deliver winning results. The managers who do use these 4 tactics as their formula for sustainable success.

Doug Conant, author and former CEO of Campbell Soup Company, says it is unrealistic to expect extraordinary effort and performance without creating an environment where people feel extraordinarily valued. In our research and observation of highly successful managers, we’ve uncovered these 4 tactics they use to inspire their teams to produce results that crush the competition:

Align People to Their Strengths

It’s common practice for organizations to provide tools to their managers to help them assess their employees’ strengths. The best managers don’t let those tools go unused. They invest the time and resources necessary to ensure each employee spends 70% of their time completing tasks that play to their strengths. Productivity, efficiency, and engagement skyrockets as a result.

How We Help Managers Become the Best Managers:

We use the Gallup tools (StrengthsFinder 2.0 and Strengths Based Leadership) as well as the DiSC behavioral assessment in our leadership training programs because of their ease of understanding and application.

Define Agreements for Managing and Resolving Conflicts

No team is immune to experiencing conflict, and research has shown that overall team success drops 55% when conflict is not successfully managed. Conversely, team success is 5 times more likely when a team has formal conflict resolution guidelines established (McLean and Company). Successful managers develop a conflict management charter where specific behaviors are defined, agreed upon, and followed when conflict happens.

How We Help Managers Become the Best Managers:

When we coach managers on managing conflict, we use a variation of this conflict management chart as a reference tool for them to develop the agreements for their teams.

Develop Customer Focused Problem Solving Capability

According a 2013 SHRM study, the top applied skill gap is critical thinking / problem solving. In the last decade, organizations have had no choice but to assume responsibility for teaching these skills because a large majority of college graduates are entering the workplace with under-developed problem-solving ability. The most effective managers ensure each employee on their team masters the ability to define problems and recommend potential solutions because those skills have a direct impact on the bottom line.

How We Help Managers Become the Best Managers:

We use a variety of tools to help managers develop the problem solving skills in their employees, and one that we recently came across is an article entitled The Question Every Project Team Should Answer. In it, the authors provide a fantastic overview of a highly effective problem solving approach. The article appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of the MIT Sloan Management Review, and it’s a great model that is a powerful combination of simplicity and effectiveness.

Utilize a Variety of Incentives that Motivate

We all know people are different yet most managers make the mistake of applying a one-size-fits-all approach to the use of incentives. The best managers know, in great detail, what motivates their employees, and the best managers do not rely solely on corporate incentive programs to motivate their employees. They are proficient at creating the right mix – a personalized mix of incentives – for their teams. How do the best managers do it? They simply ask their employees what they want and then create incentive options based on the feedback received.

How We Help Managers Become the Best Managers:

The art and science of identifying what motivates an individual is made much easier by using a systems approach. Our systems approach is simple: 1) Align employees to their strengths, 2) provide them with processes that encourage diversity of thought during the definition of problems and solutions, and 3) observe the moments where employee engagement is high and low. By following those steps, managers can dramatically improve the results from their decision making because their decisions follow a proven process that simultaneously builds trust, which is a hallmark of the best managers.

In today’s time strapped organizations, many managers complain they don’t have the time to develop and coach their employees. We’ve found that to not be the case for the best managers. The best make sure to invest time upfront to realize the efficiency and higher productivity that comes about as a result of their investment. The message is simple – if you want your team to win, develop a deep understanding and appreciation of your peoples’ talents and gifts. Once you do, you’ll be well on your way to consistently achieving jaw-dropping results for your team and organization.

The Floor is Yours

What other tactics for producing competition-crushing results would you add to the list used by the best managers? Please share them in the comments below.

For more tips and strategies on great managers, email us at, explore the rest of this website, subscribe to this blog, and follow me on social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook). By doing so, you will gain access to leading edge research on management and leadership development and have access to daily inspirational and motivational quotes that will drive your success trajectory upward. So don’t delay, follow me and think yourself to success today!


No comments yet.