How managers manage rights and build employee culture
According to Dom Price (head of R&D and president of Atlassian Software), “The articles that people have read about management and leadership probably all refer to these two functions as the same task as management, if it is different, it is only at the level. Maybe at some point, this management position will no longer be necessary, but right now both functions are very important, just they are different in nature.”
This can be clearly seen in the military environment, where the meaning of the phrase “command purpose” is clearer than ever.
It’s a surprisingly simple thing. The leader (like a CEO) defines what success looks like. When the end goal is clearly defined, the subordinate commanders in each local area will make quick decisions based on that end goal.
Efficiency is very evident, very effective, and it reflects the needs of companies that are thriving in today’s fiercely competitive environment. Like in the military, those companies have middle managers who make decisions quickly and follow the company’s shared vision.
But isn’t that a bad model? Reason:
A manager doesn’t have to be a leader, but a leader can still be a manager.
According to Steven Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, there is a difference between managers and leaders. Imagine yourself as a member of a group traveling in the forest. The leader is the guide for the group. He had to climb to the top of the tree, carefully checking what was going to happen and communicating to the whole group.
A leader is someone who helps the team respond to change. He skips dealing with small problems to get the big picture. So how did he find the time to do that? The answer is empowering to the people in the group so that each person makes their own decisions and solutions – that is the expression of the phrase “commanding purpose”.
Meanwhile, the manager is the person behind the team, helping sharpen the tools, making sure every job or task is run and completed smoothly. At the same time, the manager relays information to the leader, communicating with the leader about what is needed for the team to achieve the set goals.
How to become a leader (if not already)?
It is widely accepted that the ability to break down tasks for each person is the key to being an effective manager. But if you want to be a good leader, you need to know how to divide power.
While people often expect leaders to make certain decisions, allowing others to make decisions for them helps them stretch and exercise their ability to adapt to new situations. If people are cheering for the idea of “purpose to command,” to be able to divide power and still sleep well at night, it is crucial to understand your employees.
And, when the leader has some time to climb down from the treetops, then jump into the jobs others refuse and do them. Leaders or managers cannot help people change if they themselves do not have an understanding empathy for the difficulties employees are having at work. Besides, having a leader willing to humble himself and do such work will help build the trust of employees with him.
When people have faith, they will put everything they have into the work. Trust is built on a virtuous cycle. Let the cycle begin with the leader.
Here are 10 ways to help managers build corporate culture and build trust with their team as suggested by Atlassian:
1. When you have a leisurely week, pick a few things that are left behind. Ideals are jobs that no one wants to get their hands on.
2. Dive into the main problems and help your subordinates solve them.
3. Move the leader’s desk to the side of the subordinate’s desk and become more active in everyday life.
4. Put everything aside for a moment in a one-on-one meeting and try to keep it that way at all other meetings.
5. When disagreeing with a decision, let the team know why and no matter what, the leader must always support them behind.
6. When someone interrupts during a meeting, make sure they have a chance to finish before continuing the meeting.
7. Give feedback as meticulously and as soon as possible. Don’t save it for the annual meeting.
8. Give people problems to solve, instead of giving them tasks to complete.
9. Set goals for the whole group and let everyone find their own ways to achieve them.
10. Delegating authority to make decisions, not just the right to do certain jobs.