Whether you have one employee or hundreds, whether you like it or not, you are in the people business. Your business, whether banking, healthcare or engineering will be no better than the people you hire, train and develop to do their best to become motivated to do their best for themselves, for their co-workers and for the business itself. Given this truth, why don’t more managers become more responsive to their people’s needs?
A critical factor has to do with the fact that most organizations, business or otherwise, are divided into two domains, operations and organization. In many cases, the organization domain is managed by people from the operations domain, who may not understand or care little about both the science and art of developing praiseworthy people who are committed to their own success, the success of their co-workers and the success of the business itself.
Another factor has to do with leadership or the lack thereof. Many managers hold leadership positions, who are not leaders at all. What’s the difference between a manager and a leader? Both are interested in outcome. However, pure managers care about the outcome, whereas leaders care about the journey as well. That causes them to be different.
One factor is control. Another is trust. Command and control managers can’t trust their charges because they don’t trust themselves. They are comfortable only when they can monitor and measure each person’s performance in small incremental periods of time, lest the plan get off track and spoil the outcome.
Leaders, conversely, can and do trust others because they trust themselves to give control and latitude to their teams. Because of the freedom and associated trust, such people become highly motivated to perform out of the consideration and respect they have attained. This an example of servant leadership, because the leader is the servant to those he or she leads.
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