The Most Important Thing a Manager Must Know

As a leader and manager, you need to know a lot about a lot – accounting, technology and how to lead teams, to name a few. But, these skills may not be enough, leaving the most important skill overlooked. Do you know what the most important thing is? The following slide show drops some clues.

By Carolyn Thornlow

What Do These Stories Have in Common?

Click the arrow to view the slideshow.

What’s obvious is that all these stories are about failure. What may not be so obvious is that all the failures share the same cause. They all suffered a disconnect. There was a larger context, with overriding agenda and forces, that those with the power to decide, design and direct did not see.


The connections among variables and environment, whether in business, technologies or societies, are what determine destinies. It was not enough for the decision makers in these stories to rest on their competencies, even though they were often at the highest levels in their fields. The bigger picture was needed to inform their actions. The same holds true for every manager and leader. 

Seeing the big picture is the most important thing because it precedes everything else. Yet, knowing how to get the big picture is as elusive as the unseen failure- causing disconnects. Our Big Picture Plan™ teaches owners and managers how to see and act from the Big Picture which allows them to reduce issues and avoid them altogether. Until you’ve mastered that, enjoy our blog to find answers to immediate issues.

Avoid These Common Pitfalls When Making Bonus and Raise Decisions

As year-end rituals of handing out raises and bonuses near, it is important to know that it also is a time when you are framing the ethos of your business and anchoring your employees to it. Of course, individuals are interested in how they are performing. But, their perceptions of how they are treated in relation to others stoke emotional fires. Take a look at ethologist Frans de Waal’s (pretty funny) experiment with capuchin monkeys. He shows how a satisfying reward can become a source of infuriation when it compares unfavorably. Employees are scanning others to find out: what does one have to do in this company to succeed? Small business owners can miss this because they are on the prover

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