Monday, October 13, 2014
Growth doesn't happen with the same ingredients used to create.
What if I told you that passion is also a source of destruction? That I argued mis-guided passion is a corrosive agent, slowly eating away the core of what that same passion built?
There are many things that lend to great companies sinking into mediocrity, and eventual collapse. One cause often overlooked is passion; perhaps more accurately, unbridled passion. Sure I'm aware that the same passion builds amazing things, creates countries, develops ways of life...but not tempering that passion at the right times can have be quiet the corrosive agent - slowly eating away the foundation that it built. One element is needed for creation, while another is needed for growth.
A key to acknowledge at this point is my belief that passion is a key ingredient, and shared trait, in everyone's favorite person - the micro manager. At this point I introduce you to my highly technical and completely proprietary chart; The Micro-Management Curve chart (---->). I hope you read that in a boisterous tone; if not please go back and do so. As a leader of people, all fall somewhere on this chart. The passionate micro-manager falls on the right side of the curve. In the interest of full disclosure I fall on the left side - sure, I wish I was that perfect leader that hit the peak of the curve and rocked it all the time - but I'm not. I can be a little to absent, and thus be detrimental to my team.
While hard to hit, we should all be aiming for the sweet spot there. Side note - iTunes radio is pissing me off...I so badly miss Pandora and I Heart Radio (neither available in Belize...ug. Anyway. The same passion that creates is what lands managers on the right side of the chart, slipping downwards. At times a good amount can be accomplished with that overly passionate management style; however the opposite is most often the case. The more direct management oversight you give (micro management) the less productive your team becomes.
The team stops contributing their thoughts, motivations, and passions. Hint - you need your team's passion to create new things. As a manager you've gone and created; don't let your passion be what hinders your teams passion! If you do, then you are essentially taking your entire team, and throwing them away in favor of yourself - this is NOT a sustainable practice, and it certainly won't lead to further creation and growth of your enterprise. Most micro-managers that I've known truly do realize the value of their team, and they want the ideas and passion of those team members...they REALLY do. What they never seem to realize is that the more you "tell them" the less it happens. Law of diminishing returns I suppose.
I could write chapters on this...hmmm...maybe I will?! One last thing to consider is your team. Are you hiring well? Do you make the right decision in hiring, or the easy decision, maybe the quick decision? As a manager you must hire the right person, every time, in every situation. Obviously we don't; I pride myself on great hires (I have made mistakes, but fewer than most). I take pride (too much likely) in looking back at my hires over the decades; how many have become managers, and now lead teams of their own. I better stop here - I feel another book coming on...