The Net Effect of Your Leadership
In the U.S. this week we celebrate our country’s independence. So, we are taking the week off. But we’re still sharing the Switch and Shift message. All this week we’ll share our favorite posts we’ve written for others or from our previous solo blogs.
I recall reading recently a point made by a journalist that organizations are over-led and under-managed. The point connected of course to the countless problems companies face as a result of the global financial crises. What annoyed me about the comment was the flawed assumption that the two must be at odds with each other.
Such logic led me to wonder how many managers and employees might be thinking the same thing: to navigate through this mess, we just need to gnash our teeth and get things done; there is no time to reassess, regroup and rally the overworked and exhausted; they ought to know where they are needed, what needs to be sold.
But let us stop dear reader. Breathe. Count to ten.
Before you gnash your teeth or inspire and rally, think about how you want to leave your employees as an effect of your leadership and your management. Because clearly we are not playing an “Or” game, but an “And” game. We need your leadership and your management. The two slosh about together fluidly.
Where we need your head is focusing on how you are going to get your team or your company to move the ball closer to your next goal. Carrots and sticks are not enough. You must uncover what is in it for your employees. And then lead and manage the heck out of the play.
And you say, dear writer, Duh!
The nuance in this is not the action, but how your employees are after you lead and manage. Let ‘s turn to Robert Greenleaf for some context.
Robert Greenleaf said this about leaders who serve their people:
[It] is terribly important that one know, both about himself and about others, whether the net effect of one’s influence on others enriches, is neutral, or diminishes and depletes.
Whether you need to plan, schedule, monitor, inspire, coach, or motivate your team, think about how your management and leadership style leaves people. If you need the team to move the ball closer to the goal and regroup quickly, then stop gnashing your teeth. If you need to get a quick win gnash your teeth and tell people why you’re gnashing.
Clearly I’m exaggerating and stereotyping management and leadership. The point is that you must be clear that what you want to do and what is needed may be at odds.
You must know when to manage and when to lead. Chose your approach by thinking how you want to leave your people afterwards. You cannot afford more carnage in the form of disgruntled, unhappy employees leaving your team or organization. It will not be easy to find a replacement.
In the 21st century, businesses bump and glide in a chaordic soup that need managers who are focused on serving people and self-aware enough to know what is needed for both employee and organizational success.
This post appeared originally on Stephan De Villiers Leadership Connexion.