The greatest obstacle to success as a manager is you
It’s more rewarding to see yourself as the source of what’s around you than searching for causes outside yourself. If the team you lead is ineffective, what are you doing wrong? All you have to do to find out is to ask your employees. They know exactly what you need to do differently. If you take on board what they tell you, you won’t end up standing in the way of your competent staff – and your success as a manager.
If we could change our attitude towards conflicts and learn to embrace them naturally, we would improve our workplaces and, with them, our results.
“Polite” or effective – it’s up to you!
Many workplaces do not have an open and accepting atmosphere, and instead of being frank and to the point, we’re “nice” to each other so as to avoid awkward or unpleasant situations. This undermines efficiency and jeopardises profitability. The fear of conflict, misplaced concern and stifled opinions maintain the deadlock. Do you want to continue being polite or do you want to learn how to be courageous and start communicating? It’s your call.
Sound leadership requires something we can’t manage – to be ourselves!
It’s easy to fall into the trap of playing offices and managers. Instead of being yourself, with all your flaws, you continue to play a role from which you find hard to escape. And the embarrassing thing is that everyone knows you’re just pretending.
Think you know best? Then you can’t be a good leader
It’s a myth that the manager has to know most about his or her business. A manager’s role is not to know best, but to unleash the competence of others. This means that a good manager can lead any business he or she wishes without knowing a thing about it: because the knowledge lies with the personnel. the manager’s job is to trust them and let them use their competencies to the full. Your knowing something about the business can even be a hindrance, since you might be tempted into not listening to the real experts. And the real experts will fall silent.
Conflicts are profitable – if we don’t kill them
Conflict-avoidance is part of our culture. Conflicts destroy the working climate. Conflicts drain our energy as we tiptoe around them, when actually there’s enormous power and creativity on their “flipside”. If we could change our attitude towards conflicts and learn to embrace them naturally, we would improve our workplaces and, with them, our results. The only way to do this is to let conflicts arise and to develop the ability to be in them and discover that they’re perfectly survivable. Most of us have no lack of training opportunities.
Why should the one who understands least make all the decisions?
Non-managerial staff have far too little authority at work; if they were allowed to make the decisions, the business would do better. After all, they’re the ones who know most about it! And instead of having to keep complaining about the stupid decisions taken by their manager, they can devote their time to making sure their own ideas are implemented. All it takes is for you, as their manager, to start trusting that they’re just as capable as you are.
Leadership is simple – you just have to talk about the most difficult things to talk about
The most difficult things to talk about are also the most important. It’s therefore the manager’s job to make sure that everyone speaks openly about things that would otherwise be swept under the carpet. This brings conflicts to the surface and we stop gossiping and backstabbing; criticism can be constructive and decisions can be challenged. Only then can we get properly down to business. Simple, isn’t it?
Personal chemistry is a myth
It’s often said that some people can’t work together because their personal chemistry isn’t right. This is a misconception. Bad personal chemistry is a myth. All groups and all relationships can be effective and efficient – what it needs is a good dose of honesty and communication. We even find that the groups that started off with mismatched personal chemistries can be those that end up producing the best results.
Prestige or profit – what’s more important?
Getting a team to cooperate gives little back in terms of prestige and status for the manager. The better the team, the less important the manager. So as a manager, you have to decide which is the more important to you.