How Organisations Can Help Managers Let Go A Little
world view. This is dangerous. In today’s reality, these managers will need to get inquisitive, open and agile in their willingness to listen to, if not proactively seek out newer practices.
UNFREEZE THE OPERATING CULTURE
Many such managers have grown as order takers in their careers and prefer to be order givers as they got into higher roles. The best of talent today will not work with this leadership style. They need the space and autonomy to experiment and even fail. Managers need to allow enough space for de- goodwill that would have actually aided them to achieve more. This mindset is dangerous and subversive to larger enterprise interests and needs a complete repudiation.
MAKE YOURSELF REDUNDANT
By building systems and processes, the more evolved leaders move operations beyond themselves. Many, however, still feel their power and authority threatened by these. They do not build clear successors nor hire them. They believe in perpetual relevance and mortality. In the process, they put the enterprise to grave risks. The operating mores remain unchanged even as the operating context may have dramatically altered. Best managers are more self-assured and always ready to do things beyond what they have always done. And they build a fantastic succession bench, possibly the most powerful legacy to leave behind.
BE OPEN, TRANSPARENT AND INCLUSIVE
Many of such leaders prefer to keep things to themselves. They would avoid sharing information, communicate as little as possible and generally be suspicious of anyone trying to connect with anyone on their teams. They would rather be the conduit of anything that goes to their team. In today's times, this behaviour is both dysfunctional and derailing.
A lot eventually depends on the culture the top leadership is committed to. A smart leadership knows it must pressure test its first principles (values, leadership behaviours, culture) for relevance and adequacy. Done well, honestly and in time, organisations will discover their managers actually become more when they become less.
(The views expressed are personal)