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Readiness Recipes

The Quality Manager

August 17, 2012 by Dr. Jon Warner in Readiness Recipes

The Quality Manager

Many people make the mistake of thinking that quality is all about only high or superior standards, when in fact it is much more about consistently meeting customer expectations (even when those expectations may be relatively low). In other words, a leader’s main task when trying to manage quality is to really appreciate what it is a given customer wants (by listening carefully and paying close attention to what is actually said) and then seeking to meet these needs in consistent and repeatable ways. To do this well, a manager should ideally be “data-driven” as much as possible and then seek to design and control processes that deliver the result the customer expects or desires. This may also involve courage and fortitude to actively represent customer needs to different teams of people, even in the face of organizational resistance. This is necessary because quality often requires that internal processes are changed or adjusted quite dramatically (which can be painful in the short term).

Ingredients:Readiness Recipes

  • Analytical skills
  • Business mindedness
  • Customer focus
  • Integrity/ethical behavior
  • Managerial courage
  • Service orientation

Ingredients should be added, blended well and left to mature over time:

  • Analytical skills: This refers to a manager’s ability to evaluate large or complex situations in a logical and systematic way and to identify the most critical issues and factors that need to be dealt with.
  • Business mindedness: This refers to a manager’s ability to assess the business or commercial impact of issues or challenges that might arise and react in an appropriate way.
  • Customer focus: This refers to a manager’s ability to appropriately utilize an ‘environmental radar’ tuned to competitors, the market and customers to guide day-to-day actions.
  • Integrity/ethical behavior: This refers to a manager’s relative honesty, integrity and ethical behavior in performing their work tasks and in dealing with other people.
  • Managerial courage: This refers to a manager’s ability to be prepared to speak and stand up for personal beliefs in order to pursue a course of action, even in the face of criticism or attack.
  • Service orientation: This refers to a manager’s ability to demonstrate commitment to customers by offering the best service and quality in every task that is performed.
The Quality Manager has all of these ingredients; no substitutions or omissions can be made to the recipe.

“Readiness Recipes” is a new article series exploring 26 different kinds of managers A-Z and the key ingredients that each needs for success.  Stay tuned for more recipes and thanks for reading!

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About Dr. Jon Warner

Dr. Jon Warner is a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience. He has an MBA and a PhD in Organizational Psychology. Jon can be reached at

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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