Ok, stop. I mean it. Stop this moment.
Is a manager supposed to manage people? NO.
You, dear manager, are supposed to focus on creating an environment that enables people to excel at their job. I’m not making this up. Take some time to read the work of Deming and Senge, you’ll see that I’m not off my rocker. Then again, as a manager, how come you haven’t read their work? Oh, that’s right, you were probably just promoted into a management position and asked to figure it out on your own. Don’t worry, that’s what happened to me as well. There is hope for us.
I’m sorry you’ve been misled and that the prevailing management theory in use is still from the Stone Ages. I’m sorry, very sorry. I have a confession. I was also brought up (or is it brainwashed) to think and act that way as well. Yes, I do find myself at war with myself at times as the flesh wants to revert back to “old way”. So no, I am not judging you. I’m challenging myself as I challenge you.
Trust me, there is a better way. A way that makes work more enjoyable for everyone. I’ve experienced it. I need for others to experience it. While we’re at it, let’s stop talking about “empowering people” as well. I think we can do better. It doesn’t reflect well on us. It suggests we have power to give others power. What’s that? Hubris? I used to use that word all the time. I’ve stopped. I think we all need to stop. And since we’re stopping the use of words, why don’t we quickly add “resource” to that list. But this could all be wishful thinking on my part. Old habits die hard, don’t they?
But I got sidetracked there, the point of this post is to remind us (managers) of what our focus should be on if we really want to make a difference in our organizations. Focus on the system.