Management, Ethics & the Human Spirit
Have you ever noticed how different people are? Now I’m not talking about race, religions, political views, hair styles, languages spoken, abilities, disabilities, and whatnot. I’m talking about DEEP DOWN. We are each very unique in our own special way. We are characters aren’t we? So how do we all get along, work with each other and actually get stuff done? The answer I believe lies in the one thing we all have in common. We are all Free Spirits! Frolicking about the planet. Some (myself included) think this is actually the “reason for our existence”. Our authentic selves, our free spirits, engaged in recreational display for entertainment. To have fun. As such we don’t like being told what to do, how to do it or when to do it. Right? So if this is true the question arises again, “How do we get anything done?”
Let’s look at the most common strategy – Managing other people to get stuff done. Hummm, for those who honestly think they can manage people (or the human spirit) – in my humble opinion – you’re either fooling yourself or you are actively practicing the all-too-often management style of fear and intimidation (e.g., “Do what I say or you’re fired!”). Really motivational right? And although this management style does work, it is only temporary, it gets suboptimal results, it’s demoralizing, and it creates a toxic environment for all involved.
So what’s the alternative? Let’s look at Ethics and the Human Spirit. Starting with you. Are you tasked with leading a department or a team? What excites you? Is it the feeling of accomplishment? The intrinsic value of helping someone else? How about the possibility of getting paid a reasonable rate for your efforts? Maybe it takes the form of a raise, maybe a day off, or simply some appreciation? If you are thinking any of these things, one might speculate that the same thoughts are going thru the minds of everyone else around you?
Assuming this to be true, could you now rally the troops to accomplish a common goal? With clear and realistic goals and expectations that benefit EVERYONE in the process (the client, the company & yourself)? And now hang-on a minute, before barking instructions to your team, ask yourself, “Why are they going to do what you want them to do?” Is it simply because you told them to do it (or get fired), or are they going to get onboard because they want to help? Because they believe in what you are trying to get accomplished? This is what leaders and effective managers do. They facilitate collaboration and generate positive energy in the room. What’s the “feeling & atmosphere” in your workspace? Is it positive or negative energy?
Elevate your game, relationships, and project results by recognizing your authentic self and who your team players (really) are. Then go have fun!