While not everyone’s idealistic, most people just want to get ahead and feel good about themselves in doing so. Problems arise when: people are measured on the work other people do, and when people are rewarded for goals that distort the system.
The first issue affects ALL managers and some leaders. If you organization holds you ‘accountable’ for the results that your team achieves, that is often a setup for blame. No one can actually make anyone do anything and that’s where leadership style enters the picture. If a manager or leader believes that their value is based on the results of others that is inherently a powerless feeling. What do you do? Do you harass, cajole, bribe, yell, shout or punish others into submission? Is micro management the answer?
The second issue comes when results are measured either by amount or by revenue. Both of those measure encourage people to game the system since the ‘how’ is not measured or even discussed only the amount is deemed important. In these situations the ‘leadership’ style is often rationalized by the results it achieves. If the goals are met and the rewards acquired, then all is good.
Trust is a funny thing, we often put our ‘trust’ into something or into a person and then we never reflect to see if that ‘trust’ is actually vindicated. Trust is often confounded with loyalty and that can make us blind to the facts and prevent us from seeing what’s happening, on the ground.
I’ll be doing a webinar soon on trust and leadership. If this is of interest, please click this link and tell me what questions you’d like explored or what areas would be most valuable to you to be addressed.
If you are leading a team check out this quiz to get a handle on how you are doing and where to pay attention to make improvements in your productivity.