How to Keep Your Startup on a Path of Productivity
Ineffective leaders come in many forms, two of the most common being “micromanagers” and “absentee managers”.
But, what forms are effective? One approach is called notify, then do.
I love this pattern because it eliminates the need for constant approval. When using this pattern, I only need respond with two “no’s” rather than eight “yes’s” and two “no’s”.
This creates a culture of both speed and execution, peppered with a dash of autonomy – which in turn makes it easier to attract top talent.
Notify, Then Do: The Goldilocks Approach To Management
So, what is this magical approach to management? How can leaders nurture productivity and autonomy at the same time?
It’s as simple as encouraging the people around you to state (ideally in writing) what action they intend to take, and when they intend to take it. Then allowing sufficient time to receive “no, don’t do that” before proceeding with confidence.
Try it to today to see how it can transform your communications in an instant.
It’s Simplicity Is Why It’s So Effective
When you communicate this way it protects everyone involved. Managers are free to focus their attention where it matters most, and team members are rewarded for their initiative.
Just as importantly, you can use the approach even when working with micromanagers and absentee managers. After all, how can a manager justify any criticism of a delegate that notified them they were about to take action, and then did it when they said they would?
Use this approach when:
- Empowering new-hires who are apprehensive about working autonomously (for fear of angering their bosses)
- Helping your team to make decisions quickly
- Thriving in environments with ineffective managers
Still reading? Let’s take a look at the two most common ineffective strategies.
The Drawbacks Of Micromanagement
Team members who work under the confines of a micromanager have been taught to wait for instructions from either their supervisor or peer. They don’t have the autonomy required to go forth and conquer on their own.
On one hand, this may minimize the number of errors team members perform. On the other hand, however, micromanagement is proven to lead to wasted time, foster a lack of engagement by workers, and produce less-than-ideal solutions. Micromanaged workers aren’t inspired to think outside the box; they don’t want to rock the boat.
The result is an onslaught of conventional thinking and actions, which lead to little more than conventional outcomes. Worst of all, recruiting and team building becomes an absolute nightmare as top performers are repelled from the organization at light speed.
The Drawbacks Of Absentee Parents
The “absentee parents” setting happens when a manager all but abandons his team, leaving them to fend for themselves. Rather than overseeing and pre-approving every move made by the team, the absentee manager takes a passive role.
For self-starters, working under these conditions may seem ideal. Imagine – complete autonomy! However, when you peel back the layers a bit, you see that this type of approach to management can be extremely destructive to both productivity and company culture.
In an absentee environment, workers are forced to adopt a “take action, ask forgiveness later” approach to their work. They have little guidance from leaders; they’re unsure of how their work impacts the work of team members; they’re quartered off into personal silos. Destructive turf wars become commonplace.
Rather than bolster workers’ sense of autonomy, the absentee father approach to management leads to hurt feelings, poor working relationships, and a whole lot of wasted effort (particularly when two people on a team take opposing or identical actions).