Having been a Manager for the last 30 years, I learnt early on that telling people what to do doesn’t get the job done well. That’s when I began asking open-end questions. “What do you want to do… what did you like… what didn’t you like…what do you think..?”
This is why I make it a point to hire people who will bring strong ideas to the table and make us a better team. From there, I instil my passion and purpose so we can all do better – together.
Thankfully, I’ve stayed in touch with many of my previous employees. They always reminisce about working WITH me, rather than FOR me. This is because my style is collaborative and open, a blend of all the styles listed below.
And 30 years later, I maintain this collaborative way of working.
To follow, I’ve listed four management styles you should be striving for (and the difference between good and terrible bosses!)
As a visionary manager, you have immense passion for the overarching goals of the business, and you instil this passion into your team. Only interested in outcomes, you provide space and flexibility for the team to work at an autonomous level. This self-motivation provides self-satisfaction. It’s easy to achieve within your team, because they understand and believe in your purpose, as well as their own purpose within your business.
As the CEO of a large company, I visit every person on my team daily and ask for their opinion or expertise. I stay away from being domineering because it doesn’t bring out the best in my staff, or my business. I know that when people are on the same playing field, without feeling threatened or intimidated, we see the best outcomes.
As a collaborative manager, you ask questions and aren’t afraid to be the dumbest person in the room. You invite your team members to solve problems. The one thing you don’t do is dominate or force their own solutions onto your team. The best business decision is far more important than your ego and you believe that five heads are better than one. Just be sure to keep your meetings brief and, as the head chef, remember that you have the final decision.
If you feel you may be a domineering personality, or you panic and overreact at minor errors, ask yourself, is the behaviour I’m eliciting right now aligned with my overarching purpose? Or is it counterintuitive to what I’m trying to achieve in my business?
Spending at least a few minutes each day with each person has been my secret to getting the balance right.
This style sees that team members are pushed to raise the bar of their work and the business itself. You want to be ahead of the curve and, therefore, strive for new and different ideas. You will often ask employees whether they want to up-skill or further educate themselves. You’re extremely optimistic and give your team members a strong sense of self-worth. Employees are driven and want to do better. Just be careful not to push your team too far towards burn out, and remember to give them genuine feedback so they can grow.
Why do I want an engaged and empowered team? Having an engaged workforce means I have a reduced staff turnover, superior products, improved systems and a better business.
Employees in these teams are highly-skilled and motivated, and don’t require a hands-on approach. Team members are able to work at a top-level, strategic position in the business. Trusted in both strategy and execution, the team sets the bar for innovation and creation. While they are setting their own objectives and daily tasks, it’s important for you to review those objectives regularly so everyone stays on track with the overall trajectory of the business.
None of my decisions are driven by fear or ego – and the same goes for everyone in my team.
This is the perfect chance to check in on your own management style. Are you fuelled by fear or ego? Or by passion, innovation and collaboration?