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When Managers Step Out Of The Spotlight Teams Shine

If someone were to ask us to name the most important people in a company, most of us would name one of the C-level executives. That’s because we’ve been conditioned to believe that organizations rest on the broad shoulders of managers.

However, in reality, the most important people in a company are the ones who do the actual heavy-lifting - the technical and creative employees. Managers are, by definition, persons responsible for administering an organization or a group of employees. And, by administering we mean serving or enabling.

Learning To Get Out Of The Way

But, like Peter Drucker says, “So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work”. It is one of the biggest hangovers from the Industrial era that managers are often unable or unwilling to shake off.

Very often managers feel important when they are involved in every decision that’s made; when people come to them for approval before doing anything; and when they lead multiple meetings in a day. However, in reality, they’re doing nothing but getting in the way of people who’re actually doing the work.

The original purpose of management is to clear the obstacles that prevent people from working effectively and efficiently. In essence, their job is to find people who are skilled and have the right kind of talents to do the job. And then, to enable them in every way to get the job done. Simply put, managers need to accept that people on their team are more capable of getting the job done and that the only thing they need to do is trust them to deliver.

Take A Step Back And Let The Action Unfold

If managers learn how to take a step back and cede their perceived control, then it becomes easier for teams to deliver top performance with very little hand-holding. When managers openly communicate with their teams, they enable them to have foresight and expertise to make the correct decisions.

When teams knows that their manager encourages experimentation and that even their failures will be converted into learning moments, they’re likely to be more innovative. It promotes better alignment between all stakeholders when the people doing the actual work get to make decisions as and when required.

The Measure Of A Manager

The role of a manager should be to create clarity on the company’s overall vision and goals; and to step in when their intervention is crucial. In this way, leaders will be increasingly identified by their attitudes and behaviors rather than their titles or place on the company hierarchy. It enables organic development of leadership and entrepreneurship within the company.

When managers learn to trust their people to deliver, it will empower teams with more autonomy and result in people who’re more motivated, creative and engaged at work. The success of a manager should, therefore, be measured by the agility of their teams in the face of a fast-changing market; their courage to experiment, their capacity to make mistakes and learn from them; and their potential to drive results through the roof. Nothing else should matter.

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