Boss Reality


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Shitty managers give orders, they do not give permission.”

I blame it on our education. We were taught long ago — when the educational system killed our creative side — that the person at the front of the room had the only right answer. As students, it was our job to discover and embrace this sole correct answer. Since then, we have been living a life chasing the approval of the right, safe and correct answer from those in authority.

What have we learned? Very little. Today’s business climate is made up of far too many task driven managers, who think in the short term, only expect immediate results, and instill the fear of failure and termination at every opportunity. Being in corporate America is like being in school, only worse — we don’t get as many vacation days, we are there longer, and there is no study hall.

The source of my frustration is founded in the numerous conversations I have with people who are struggling to find creative inspiration in the fast of an oppressive business and leadership climate.

The challenge I have is helping those who feel beat up to discover that they can decide and influence their success. And, despite the crazy machinations of their autocratic, results driven, short-term behavior oriented boss, they can create, build, and implement something that works for them. Unfortunately, very few people realize that empowerment is a choice and that their boss will never give them permission to create an new course. Their boss is likely the oppressive, just do it sort and is only mimicking the behaviors of their previous bosses.

Leadership is about inspiration, team building, and empowerment. It requires that we elicit, encourage, and seek out influences, ideas, and opportunities throughout the organization. Simply giving someone an order and a time frame is not managerial leadership. That is autocratic leadership.

You want a more productive, more engaged, more inspired team? Get your fingernails dirty. Help them understand what you want, why you want it, and give them suggestions, guidelines, and ideas for accomplishing it. And, when completed, acknowledge the work, discover how it was developed, compliment the thought process, and make positive suggestions for adding other ways to do it.

When it comes to business, there is only one yardstick — results. However, there are five million ways to get there. The best way to discover the path to success is to encourage a team of individuals to collaborate on a process, a solution, and the outcome. Short term results, especially those achieved through autocratic intimidation, are not any indicator of great long term outcomes.

Focus on developing your team to the behaviors, outcomes, and activities the deliver repeatable reliable results. People are looking to be inspired, to be part of something big, and desire to be valued and trusted. Since they never get permission from their boss to be creative, maybe it is time for their leaders to show creativity in the way they manage. What a concept!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Cooke
I leverage my 25 years experience in sales and marketing to create and implement strategic initiatives and develop educational programs that increase both revenues and profits. I take great pride in my experience in turbulent, chaotic, and transitional work environments. It is from these experiences that I have developed my commitment to collaborative teams, strong internal and external relationships, effective communication, decisive leadership, and a cohesive, collaborative strategy as keys to sustainable revenue growth.


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