Be A Clock Builder, Not A Time Teller

Jim Collins calls that micromanaging Satanist of a boss you once had a “time teller.” All they know how to do is read off of and angrily point at a clock/dashboard/metric. You, meanwhile, are left running around trying to finish your work as close to their definition of “just so” as you can (even though you already know something will be “wrong” with it). Glorious.

Collins says time tellers suck because they’re stuck on A. reading the results, and B. being the sole interpreter/keeper of the clock. That type of behavior will suck the life out of any organization.

So what’s the opposite? And, if you’re leading a group of any size, what’s there to strive for (in the opposite direction)?

A clock builder.

Clock builders focus on creating metaphorical machines. The clock builder wants everyone to be able to see and read the time on the clock. With a clear understanding for what’s being measured, they can adjust what they’re doing – because they’re empowered to – and deliver.

Clock builders tell their team what done looks like and then get out of the way. Instead of micromanaging every painstaking step, they set up the system and watch it run.

You already know which type of manager you’d rather be or work for. Death to time tellers.

Get this insight and more from Jim Collins’ “Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.