Home > Leadership > Lets go Old School…

Lets go Old School…

Management, in all business and organizational activity, is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives.

In the best of times, the ability to manage effectively is the factor that shepherds the most profit, production, and talent out of the available resources. In the worst of times, that ability or inability can be the reason a company comes out the other end whole or succumbs to that which we all fear.

No matter the business climate of the time, we can assure ourselves that we’re able to navigate the difficulties in management if we just pay attention to an ‘old-school’ philosophy. Specifically, the recognition that there are two major tools in management’s tool belt – direction and support. For clarity, direction is specific, detailed oriented instructions or tasks, while support is defined by the giving of authority or tools necessary for effectiveness.

At first blush this rule of thought may seem overly simplistic. Simple yes, but easy…absolutely not! Whether you’re a CEO, a director, or front-line supervisor, the understanding and execution of which, how much and when to use either of these tools is critical in keeping each employee and the organization functioning at their highest levels.

The goal of management should be to create an environment that is motivating for every employee and, like athletes on a team, not everyone’s needs are the same. From Greg Greenhorn to Charlie CFO, everyone in an organization is somewhere on his/her growth continuum, and it’s up to their manager to identify whether they need more direction or more support. If a seasoned employee is given too much direction, he/she will feel stifled and micro-managed. Conversely, if a newer employee is not given enough direction, they’ll feel lost and ineffective.

When management correctly identifies the needs of its associates and uses their tools effectively…WHALLAH, they’ve created an environment that will be motivating for each employee. From personal experience, I have learned that when I go into the kitchen with dinner cooking, using a “Directive” communication style doesn’t go so well for me…Supportive is by far a better choice.

So take a look at your workforce and ask yourself if you’re managing (direction vs. support) them correctly. Identify where they are on their competency continuum and make it a point to understand what they need to be effective. By taking the time to go back to ‘old-school’, you’ll find you have created a motivating environment for each of your associates and done what is necessary to ensure that during good times and bad you’ve given your company the best chance for success.

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Categories: Leadership
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