On How Not To Manage

Terrific article in McKinsey Quarterly in January this year.  It discusses how senior management can destroy the engagement of their people by not paying attention to their “inner work life” which revolves in no small part around job satisfaction, alignment with strategy and corporate vision, understanding of autonomy etc.

In many respects, it has some resonance with Patrick Lenceoni’s “Five Dysfunctions of a Team”:

  • Absence of Trust (dealing with vulnerablity);
  • Fear of Conflict (dealing with artificial versus real harmony):
  • Lack of Commitment (dealing with ambiguity);
  • Avoidance of Accountability (focus on standards); and
  • Inattention to results (around status and ego).

For a diagrammatic representation of this model, look here.

The level of freedom that can be provided by senior managers to staff is critical in enabling them to not only get engaged but stay passionate about what they are doing – this then evolves in to a healthy “inner work life” that ensures that the business is working at its optimum level.  Part of this is “Leader as Servant” and part is a focus on the issues  from the Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

I recommend you have a read of the McKinsey Article which can be found here.

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