[MUSIC] In this segment, we going to talk about understanding our own biases as managers. If the previous segment was about understanding our employees better, this segment is about understanding ourselves better. And it actually starts with the premise that managing, being a good manager, is an unnatural act. In other words, for most of us anyway, it does not come naturally. We have to work very hard to actually do what we know we should. The metaphor I like here is a very standard metaphor now, is, for understanding our own brains, our own minds, is of the rider and the elephant. This was first coined as a metaphor by John Haidt, who's a professor at Stern in New York. And he says that our minds, our, can be divided if you like into two parts, as the emotional part, and then there's the rational bit. There's the conscious and the subconscious. Think of the rational conscience part of our mind, the calculating part of our mind as the rider, who is sitting on top of the elephant, which is the emotional or subconscious part of the mind. Okay? The rider is in control, but the rider isn't in perfect control. The rider can steer the elephant roughly in the right direction, but if the elephant wanders off, the rider's ability to pull the elephant back is actually very, very limited. So just to give you an example of what I mean, if you want to go exercising in the morning, you set your alarm clock for 5:30. That is the conscious mind, that's the rider at work. When the alarm goes off at 5:30 and you hit it and you roll over and you go back to sleep, that is the emotional or subconscious or elephant-like part of your mind that's working. And the two parts of the mind are in a constant sort of tension. What's that got to do with the world of managing? Well, just as in every other aspect of kind of human behavior, what's going on is that the conscious part of our mind is trying to get us to do certain things, but the emotional, the subconscious part, is often veering towards doing other things. And so as a manager, we know full well that our job is to give freedom and recognition to others, to share information widely, to provide clear directions to support all the stuff that we talked about in an earlier segment. That is the rider talking. However, we're busy people. We often kind of get a bit distracted. We often worry a little bit about, about how we are perceived by others. And in fact, the kind of the emotional or subconscious part of our mind very often ends up saying, I want to be in control. I want to avoid making mistakes. I want to be in charge of things. Because as managers, we've come up through a system where we became successful because we were in charge, and it's also kind of human nature to want to be in control of things. And so we see this tension all the time between doing what we know we should versus doing what's, what we actually kind of do naturally because that's just the way we prefer to behave. And so as a good manager, we have to understand ourselves, and we have to understand these biases. And we have to continually reinforce the good behaviors, if you like, that go with the conscious part of our management job. So let me just offer you four little tips, we can call them that. I hesitate to call them a list, because, of course, I've already said that a list of how to become a better manager is not the way forward. But a few little tips to bear in mind. One is, is about what you might call learning to let go. In other words, can we put in place some sort of precipitating mechanisms to ensure that other people are given more control over things than, than we have? So a nice example is when Tony Blair our, our erstwhile former Prime Minister first became Prime Minister. This is 20 odd years ago now. What's the first thing he did? He gave control of monetary policy to the Bank of England. Up until that point, the Bank of England had been under the direct control of the government. He said there's no reason why government should be getting in the way of the Bank of England's monetary policy, give them freedom. Then of course, once he's given that power away, you can't really get it back. A links thought at a slightly more micro level is this notion what good managers do in order to essentially, you know, put cred, credibility behind their promise. They are giving power to others is to package work into projects, into very discrete projects. A beautiful example of this actually comes from, from Barcelona. If you've ever seen the very famous cathedral that's still being built, La Sagrada Familia. Anton Gaudi was the architect, a hundred odd years ago, he actually started building that thing. He knew he would never actually finish it in his lifetime. He knew that other generations of architect would have to essentially continue his work after he died. So what did he do? He deliberately chunked it, he deliberately created opportunities for each individual architect to kind of do their own thing within his master scheme. Every time as a manager of others, you think about how do I make work interesting? Think in terms of chunking work out into pieces that people can own and manage themselves, whilst you might retain some sort of overall, almost architectural control, they do the little bits themselves. The third little tip is around seeking advice. Gosh, that sounds really obvious, doesn't it, but go back to a, a point I made in the previous statement, around, how do you become a better golfer? You become a better golfer not by reading a book, but by actually having a professional golf, golf pro advising you on your job. The reason that some executives have, you know, impartial advice. People standing to the side saying, helping them with their work. People without any particular ax to grind is because they can see things that you cannot. Even though they don't have to be as good a manager as you to see where your flaws lie. Finally, focus on your strengths. Now that might sound like a, an obvious thing to do, but in fact, if you think about it, many times when you've had a performance appraisal, people have said, let's look at what you're bad at, and let's improve that. In fact, these days there's an awful lot of thinking, and Marcus Buckingham is one of the leaders of this, of this, of this point of view. There's an awful lot of thinking that says we should be focusing instead on the things that we are good at. Life is too short to worry too much about trying to, you know, take remedial care of things we're not so good at. Focus on what we're good at, emphasize those. And make sure that we partner with people who actually cover our weaknesses. So if I'm really good with people, but I'm not really very good with numbers, make sure, I should make sure that my, my CFL or my colleague is the person who is really good with the number side of things. So making that that we have complementaries within a team, making sure that as a manager of others, we have somebody covering the things that we're not so good at. Obviously, we, if we've got fatal flaws in terms of our skill set, we need to, to, to raise them up. But broadly speaking, focusing on our strengths is good for us, and it's good for our employees.