The Harvard Business Review posted an article by Robert Sutton highlighting the 12 Things Good Bosses Believe. The statement that immediately struck me was number eleven: “How I do things is as important as what I do.”
Meeting objectives in a leadership role is tough. Some unfortunate managers believe it doesn’t matter how they get their employees to work, as long as the work gets done.
Think of the worst manager you ever had. How did this manager do their work? Did they scare or intimidate employees? At what cost? Was turnover high? How did you and your colleagues feel about this manager as a person?
Now, think of the best manager you ever had. Did they get you to do your job and then some? Did they inspire you to make a change you never thought was possible in the past? How did they communicate? How did others feel about this manager?
Make the connection between these two managers. They both have a job to do. They have people to manage and results to obtain. However, their leadership techniques are strikingly different. The question now is, “How are they different?”
One of the primary focal points of leadership is communicating values through action. It sounds simple, but believe me, it’s not. Responding to demands with clarity is no easy task in a high pressured environment. High reactivity to problems makes team dynamics more volatile and as a result, weakens long term performance.
Take a look at yourself. How do you solve problems? How do you incite and facilitate change in your department? How do you communicate issues with your colleagues, managers, and direct reports? If you’re feeling bold, ask those around you. You might just be surprised.
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