Your managers are the keys to your employees’ productivity and engagement. How well are they doing? A consultant whose opinion we respect—Bill Lee of Lee Resources, at BillLeeOnline.com—recommends a book he thinks is the best manager-improvement product he’s come across.
It is The Control Theory Manager, by William Glasser, M.D. (HarperBusiness, 1994), and it’s short enough to be covered in an hour-long training session. The author contrasts what he calls “boss-management,” which he advises against, and “lead-management,” which he advocates. Here’s the gist of his guidance:
- Boss-managers set tasks and performance standards for employees, usually without consulting them.
Lead-managers have ongoing discussions with employees that encourage their input to improve the system or reduce costs.
- Boss-managers tell employees how to do the work and seldom ask for input.
Lead-managers show or model the job and works to increase workers’ sense of control over their own work.
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- Boss-managers or their designees inspect work and don’t involve employees in evaluating it.
Lead-managers encourage employees to inspect and evaluate their own work.
- Boss-managers’ primary technique is coercion to make employees do their jobs.
Lead-managers promote continuous improvement, helping employees by providing good tools and a friendly, nonadversarial work environment.
- Lead-managers avoid engaging in three destructive behaviors:
1. Too much criticism of employees;
2. Asking more of them than they can accomplish; and
3. Trying to coerce employees to do what they don’t want to do.
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In tomorrow’s Advisor, we’ll look at three more lead-manager rules—plus explore a comprehensive online training resource for managers and supervisors.