One consistent comment I hear from the rank-in-file workforce when I am working with clients is “if management would get out of the way, we would be way more effective.”So why does management (executives included) get in the way of getting results? They think they are suppose to! After all, they are paid to manage and if they aren’t managing, then they have nothing to do. If things are going really well without their help, then they aren’t necessary and there goes their job. So, they get in there and manage even if they undermine the effectiveness of the operation and hurt results.
Is this the real world? Unfortunately for many organizations, yes it is. Many times you have heard me defend the collaborative management style of “delegate and coach” when compared to the traditional organization management style of “demand and control”. These contrasting management styles do produce very different organizational results. Let’s explore 5 ways that management will hurt your results:
- Lack of Communication: You have heard that knowledge is power. Power is why misguided managers continue to withhold information from their peers and subordinates. Why peers? Because they don’t want to lose the opportunity for a promotion to a peer when they could have withheld something that would make themselves look more qualified. The same reason some very misguided managers spread rumors based on half truths (or not truth) about peers. Why subordinates? The same reason, they want to be needed. They are concerned that a team of well informed knowledgeable workers will do well whether they are present or not. That means no vacations or days off–they don’t want to expose their lack of influence on the process they oversee. Their motive is to keep “others” in the dark, and keep the power of influence on their side.
- Lack of Knowledge: I call them “empty suits”. Those managers (executives) that have somehow climbed to their position and they have no idea of what really goes on in their group, department, division or company. A knowledgeable leader is recognized by their willingness to get involved as a team member, not the boss, and do what the team needs to get the results desired. Why do they do this? Because they are knowledgeable of what the results are and how best to achieve those results based on having the experience of doing it many times before. Those aspiring managers wanting to know how they can get to this leadership position if they don’t have the knowledge to lead in this way, I say dive in as a willing participant and let your most experienced team members (peers or subordinates) guide you through the process and be willing to do whatever needs to be done to help get the results you want. Don’t be an impediment, be an enabler that is willing to learn.
- Lack of Confidence: Surprisingly, what I have experienced is that a manager that lacks confidence does not come across as meek and tentative when playing their role of manager, on the contrary. They come across as very aggressive, demanding, unwilling to listen, and uncompromising. Why? Because they have seen others at the same levels act that way so they believe that is the way they must act. Not so! The only result from this tactic is failure for many reasons, and one of the most important reasons is that role playing versus true-self is inconsistent and unsustainable. I am not a psychologist, but I have seen a number of abrasive, rude, crude and over demanding leaders fall flat on their face when put into a position where they had to perform on their own. The Peter Principle does exist!
- Lack of Purpose: Managers that lack purpose in their positions are not able to motivate themselves or their peers and subordinates. They lack drive, initiative and momentum for themselves and their team (unit, department, division, company). They don’t see themselves as an extension of the organization, but as a job or title holder. Their objective each month is the paycheck. They may be satisfied with their title and the size of their office, and they will do anything to keep it. They would never consider taking a controversial position or “rock the boat.” They are not enablers. They are not even sustainers. They are hiders. You see many of these managers or administrators attracted to positions with tenure or some form of union protection. The organizational impact of this type of manager is that they either have very high turnover in their area of responsibility or they attract the same type of workforce which leads to lack-luster results delivered by a growing number of under-achievers.
- Lack of Relationships: Relationships are the backbone of the collaborative organization. Once an organization accepts our definition of collaboration, it is their interaction with stakeholders that will determine their effectiveness in the marketplace. We call this Stakeholder Relationship Management TM (SRM). Managers must develop a positive, nurturing and continuous improvement relationship with all their stakeholders, but especially with their peers and subordinates within their organization. By relationship I mean a level of mutual respect, trust and commitment to the individual(s) and the organization at the same time. I have found that relationships taken too far (strong personal friendships) can be troublesome when there are pressures to perform and role changes within organizations. Professional relationships at all levels of the organization promote teamwork, a stronger sense of identity with the organization and its divisions, and greater opportunities for advancement. Those managers that isolate themselves for whatever reason are less likely to contribute to the organizations results, as will their area of responsibility.One consistent comment I hear from the rank-in-file workforce when I am working with clients is “if management would get out of the way, we would be way more effective.” So why does management (executives included) get in the way of getting results? They think they are suppose to! After all, they are paid to manage and if they aren’t managing, then they have nothing to do. If things are going really well without their help, then they aren’t necessary and there goes their job. So, they get in there and manage even if they undermine the effectiveness of the operation and hurt results.
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