Managers as Linking Pins

Managers are the means to ensure that all work is aligned to the achievement of strategy. But integration is a two step process.

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Every manager of people must realize that they are part of two teams: the one they lead, and their manager’s. It is important that Managers integrate with their own Manager and Peers before executing with the team they lead.

Your team does not exist in a vacuum. Your group performs a role within your functional group, and that functional group performs a role within the entire organization.

To overcome this, Managers must understand that they are members of two teams. Team One represents the organizational context (your Manager, you and your Peers). Team Two refers to the team that you manage directly (you and your Direct Reports). You are a member of both teams. You are the linking pin for both teams, and one of many linking pins that ultimately connect all work with organizational strategy.

In order to create a team that works at optimal performance, you must first integrate laterally with your boss and amongst your Peers across the organization. Only then should you execute strategies and team goals within your team.

If you imagine this linking pin system flowing down through an organization from the executive team to the front line, you can see that this is the means by which all work is aligned with organizational strategy. If you do not align with your Manager and Peers prior to defining the work for your team, then at least some, if not most, of your energy will be misspent.

We use an acronym to describe the linking pin system: LIVE™: “Lateral Integration before Vertical Execution”.

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