Note: As you have seen in past posts here, at The Daily and the not so, I’ve always been a strong believer of the importance of acting as leaders and developing our main strengths and abilities. That said, this post, I write not only thinking of this but also inspired by Seth Godin’s concept of Tribes (If you can get your hands on the book, don’t miss the chance to read it).
Are you really leading talent or just managing resources?
I ask because once someone told me: “A manager manages projects, challenges, problems, resources. That’s why they are managers, because they manage…” Well, yeah…and a Director, directs and an executive executes…So, what is the difference between and simple manager, director or executive and a leader? Simple and huge!
If you manage resources, you impose your vision, or that of the status quo you represent, of what has to be done and how it must be done, absolutely diminishing the work of your staff. You will not give in even a centimeter of additional room to move for your employees to push and pull the leverages you have ordered them to pull to accomplish the list of tasks you determined will help your company to prosper.
Nevertheless, the problem herein lies in that the status quo is in itself that, something that must not change, that must remain the same, therefore not growing, not evolving, getting stuck, and no matter how hard you try, sooner or later if falls.
This is the model that is costing so much to so many companies, even to those who claim to be innovators. Not only on increasing costs and decreasing revenue; but in talent retention as well. And all because they are not sharing a vision based on values, principles and objectives others can identify themselves with and commit to; therefore thinking that the only way left to get other people to follow them is the old decaying stick and carrot way. And sooner rather than later they end up seeing even the most apathetic of their employees get tired of this model and leave.
On the other hand, if you stop wanting to manage people as if they were just another asset of your company and you focus on defining a worthy mission, on clearly sharing your organization’s vision and actually transforming yourself into an enabler of your team’s talents; not only will you become a leader who maximizes your people’s strengths and abilities, but you will transform your enterprise into a leader’s magnet, into a tribe of very talented and capable people, each exercising and maximizing their own strengths, collaborating and contributing to your organization.
Companies that understand that their real worth lies in its people, in its tribe; that is, in the hands of their collaborators (their employees) and their contributors (clients and vendors), are the ones who are getting ahead.
The leaders of these organizations know that success does not lie in one unique and secret formula nor in one methodology and work process, neither on “Incentivizing” employees and clients, but in creating a tribe of people whose values, principles and interests are so aligned that they will not hesitate to share their strengths, knowledge, commitment, experience and even their own tribes too, in order to achieve their shared objective.