CONTROL VS. EMPOWERMENT
Managers are accountable. This means that they need to hold
on to some sort of control over the work and behaviours of their
team. They need to ensure that things are done properly and in a
way that is effective and efficient. At the same time, managers need
to empower their team members so that they have the freedom to
develop into their full potential. This means giving them space to
thrive, and at times, to make mistakes. The problem is that the val-ues
of control and empowerment are often in unhealthy tension
with one another.
If a manager over-focuses on control to the neglect of empower-ment,
team members feel micromanaged and believe their passion
and potential is being diminished. Beyond this, overdone con-trol
kills productivity because the manager must be connected to
everything that happens.
At the same time, if a manager over-focuses on empowerment
to the neglect of control, they set team members up for failure
because team members are not provided with the development
and support needed to succeed. These managers also live in a state
of perpetual anxiety because they never truly trust in the abilities
of their team.
BEING A BOSS VS. BEING A FRIEND
Once a manager is given a team to lead, they need to assume the
responsibilities of being a boss. This can mean holding people
accountable, having uncomfortable conversations and ensuring
there is consistency and fairness throughout the team. At the
same time, the best bosses are also seen as a friend to those they
lead. This doesn’t mean they have to go for drinks after work
and be “friends” on social media, but it does mean that they truly
know and care for each team member. They believe the best in
each person and everyone on their teams knows this is the case.
Unfortunately, being both a boss and a friend can be incredibly
challenging and result in a lot of tension.
Over-focusing on being a boss to the neglect of being a friend
results in team members not feeling cared for and seen simply as a
tool being used to get things done. This often leads to high turn-over,
an unpleasant team culture and people living up only to the
minimum expectation of their job description.
Over-focusing on being a friend to the neglect of being a boss
is just as dangerous. Crucial, but uncomfortable conversations
around performance are often avoided in order to preserve the
friendship. Decision making is often skewed because the leader is
thinking too much about, “How will this impact my team relation-ships?”
instead of, “What’s the best option for the organization?”
PART VERSUS WHOLE
One of the biggest challenges a new manager will face is that they
are now responsible for their part of the organization. This means
they need to be incredibly focused on the productivity of their
division and the culture of their team. At the same time, they need
to ensure their part is connected to, and working in alignment
with, the whole organization (i.e. all the other parts). This means
that they need to be communicating and collaborating with other
WHEN MANAGERS OVER-FOCUS ON THEIR PART
OF THE ORGANIZATION TO THE NEGLECT OF
THE WHOLE ORGANIZATION, THEY START TO
CREATE DIVISIONS WITHIN THE COMPANY.
prathum / 123RF
36 ❚ NOVEMBER 2018 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL