TLS Continuum Part 18: Change Managers to Leaders

Throughout this TLS Continuum series I have tried to stress that in order for the TLS Continuum to be successful we need to create a new normal as far as corporate culture is concerned. This change applies to not only the organization as a whole but to the role of management as well.

Answer this quick question for me? What kind of manager are you? Are you that fierce tyrant or are you the manager who strives to make the organization grow? The answer to these questions is imbedded in your management philosophy. To understand what I am suggesting look at the two models of management styles.

In the first model, the manager is a tyrant. He or she operates under a model of command and control. Organizational goals are set and that is all that counts. The manager micro-manages the staff as to their ability to adhere to the PLAN. If your staff fails to meet the plan it counts against the on the annual review. Their defaults are all the things they did that did not meet that goal. The ability to be agile and innovative is controlled by needing management approval before doing anything out of the box. Employees become disengaged because they feel that their contribution is not valued within the organization. I am sure we all have had managers that fit this model. I know I have on several occasions. When I was teaching middle school science I had one principal who told me I was all-wrong in my teaching style because she taught the same subject 25 years earlier and she would never do it my way.

The other side of the coin is the basis for successful management today. In this model the organizational goals are derived from cross-functional collaboration. The manager provides his or her staff with training so that they understand how the organization functions. They instill an understanding how materials flow through the organization and how their job fits into that flow. They ensure that the staff understands why and changes are being made and what is in it for them to go along with the changes. Instead of command and control, the manager leads the organizational assets through the new processes.

When the training is done the new manager switches hats and serves as a coach to those human capital assets that are not meeting their expected engagement. It becomes the leader’s responsibility to provide the guidance to the employee to get to the productivity level required by the organizational strategies and alignment. This coaching maybe providing a roadmap to moving off to another opportunity for which they are better suited.

Today’s business world is a dynamic one confronted with changes on a daily basis. The presence of the tyrant command and control manager does not interface well with the new business model. The rapid change requires the organization to not be risk adverse and willing to take chances. It is the leader not the manger who is better able to meet the need for agile changes. It is the leader who empowers the organizational human capital assets to change the corporate culture. It is the leader who empowers the organizational human capital assets to implement the better way to complete the process if they find it with the blessings of upper management. The leader is the one who empowers the pride of ownership of the organizational process flow.

You decide are you a new manager or stuck in the old traditional management role? Are you going to carry the organization forward or keep them operating in the past with the odds that continuous process efforts will be destined to fail? You need to become leaders not managers to benefit your organization in the future.

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