5 actions responsibility-centered leaders do that others don’t: Managing subordinates (and making them manage theirs).
“They’re motto might well be ‘It’s good to be king.’ And few ‘kings’ want to be managers.” P.146.
Many ‘leaders’ hate the idea that they might have to manage those under them. For top level executives, they’re working with experienced leaders who can get stuff done. Why therefore should they have to manage people who are so talented? For small business leaders working with friends and family, you might ask why should my husband or wife keep tabs on what I do, or why should I ask my grown children for accountability for their work? Mums and Dads also need to manage their households, even though they may have great children! It’s tough, you don’t want to smother them while yet keeping tabs on what they’re doing.
My Mum asked us every school night, “Are you getting your work done!” At the time, I hated it. I wasn’t the most responsible kid on the playground or at home or when it came to homework, but I got grades that were…adequate. Looking back, it would have been so easy for her to break from routine, to not ask a question that could have easily caused a fight between us, to enjoy her life more instead of managing her kids.
Instead she took the responsibility-centered approach and asked us, without fail, every night because she knew the mission: raise kids who would get good grades so they would succeed in the world as adults. Unfortunately, there are many parents out there, who don’t have a mission for their kids. They wanted to be parents, they wanted to have kids because they always dreamed of it, or dreamed of having a successful athlete they could tell their friends they were proud of, or to one day walk them down the isle. Whatever the reason they wanted kids, the work is now in front of them, difficult, thankless work that they may not see results for in years! Parents who are leaders, manage their kids, doing the difficult work to provide an atmosphere where they can flourish.
Many don’t know the difference between management and micromanagement and blur the lines so they step into micromanaging their employees because of a lack of trust. Some are so scared to micromanaging, they don’t manage at all! As Lencioni points out, “helping subordinates establish a direction and knowing how they are progressing is far from micromanagement.” P.145.
Leaders grow their employees/subordinates and don’t just expect their people to grow their business, group or results. Attention to detail can be incredibly tedious. Especially if you’re leading a top group and you’re looking for a 1% increase in performance. I would put it this way: It is easier to take a 10% student to 60% student in their grades than to take someone in the 90th percentile and raise them to the 99th percentile. Smaller increase overall, but the precision and execution to get to that top tier is easily more difficult.
As leaders, we must manage our subordinates in their work, providing them skills, encouragement, direction and results in order to gain the greatest results from every level of our organization!
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.