The world has changed a lot since the dawn of the industrial age. Yet our approach to managing organizations has fundamentally remained the same. We still have top down, control oriented hierarchies, whose main preoccupation seems to be to prevent independent, creative or innovative thinking and doing.
Yet the demand for managers who can inspire us, mentor us and help us become the best we can be, steadily grows. While most people recognise the need for control in organizations, what we don’t want are managers who are overly controlling. Why then is it so hard for many managers to recognise this? I believe that the root of the problem lies in the erroneous beliefs that these managers possess.
#1 – People come to work mainly for the money, and will do the least amount of work whenever possible. People who agree with this statement, also agree with the statement that “I’m not like that”. The majority of people see themselves as “not like that”, and they are correct…most people do not come to work for just the money.
#2 – People are only interested in their own work, and will do anything to avoid getting involved in work beyond their own responsibilities. Simply not true…if you make work meaningful, people will naturally be attracted to it and go beyond their regular duties.
#3 – You can’t trust people, therefore you must put as many controls in place as possible to ensure honest dealings. Controls are important, of that there is no doubt. Yet you have to let go of the belief that almost everything needs to be controlled. Create too many controls, and you decimate trust.
#4 – People who are extraverted will succeed more than those who are intraverted. We tend to be impressed by those who “tell it like it is” and who are expressive in nature. Yet the reality is that you need a mix of both intraverted and extraverted types to succeed. For example, Sir Richard Branson needs intraverts to “sweat the details”, as much as the intraverts need him to “show the way” and provide visionary focus.
#5 – People work best when under constant pressure, therefore there should always be a “shark in the tank” to keep people swimming towards their goals. While a certain amount of stress and even anxiety keeps us alert and moving, too much over a long period of time causes us to become depleted…mentally, emotionally and physically. People need time to reflect and rejuvenate.
Tackle these and other erroneous beliefs in reinventing your management style and watch how performance grows.