Effective Executive Part 2: Practicing Inquisitive and Active Leadership

This is a follow up post in what I am calling my Effective Executive series. I often get asked how or why I do many of the things I do. Years ago, one of my mentors provided me a copy of a wallet card of specific actions and practices actually used by senior executives in a bank headquarters in the 1980s. I often pull out the card, reflect on the actions, and use them to guide my “next actions.” Follow the link to the card, print it, cut it out, tape it back to back, and put it in your wallet (just trust me for now, I had no explanation for the first ten years I had the card). I have provided a link to an attachment that gives background if you are interested, but you don’t need to read it to get started. Next time you are thinking about how to improve your performance or solve a knotty issue, pull it out.  Ask yourself, "Can I apply any of these rules and functions in what I am doing?" Let me and others on this blog know of your experience.

Dr. Harold Kurstedt developed the management process; a synergistic set of nine functions guided by eight rules, and taught it at the Virginia Tech Management Systems Laboratory.  The management process is an approach to work and a way of thinking. It is a strong, structured process. I have tried to use the process in my daily activities ever since Ben Stilmar gave me the wallet card based on them. The original source of these functions/rules were heuristics developed by a large commercial bank in the late 1980s and used by senior executives in the bank headquarters as informal pocket guides for managing the transformations that the bank would accomplish in acquired businesses.

If you understand and use the functions and guiding rules of a structured, functional, and dependable management process, you’ll not only reduce surprises and organize your workday by managing through cooperation, but you’ll also have time to be creative, build the business, and better serve your stakeholders by meeting organizational goals and carrying out your mission.

If you want to know more about these rules and principles, here is an expanded set of notes. Ben Stilmar was the mentor who gave me the card and helped me with this blog post.