Some of you are lucky to have worked with great leaders whose leadership style made you blossom. Your creativity and ideas were welcome, you felt as if you were growing every day. Others have had really bad experiences with managers who’s leadership behaviour kept everyone in their fear box. I’ve met both!
There are still many fear-driven leaders and managers who have no sense for the human pace when conducting their orchestras, they make people feel like a piece of meat being thrown to the wolves.
My blog post is about two people I once worked with and what they did to make their team members prosper. It was in different jobs and different positions. One in Sweden and one in the UK. One male and one female manager.
It’s interesting that they had common traits, but very different personalities, and working with them made me super effective and creative. You might have had a similar experience, it’s worth noting what it was in the person’s behaviour that made you thrive.
They both did small gentle things that empowered people around them – nothing big or miraculous. A nice chat in the morning could set you off for the day.
They organised regular weekly team meetings where we all could share what we were working on and what we struggled with. The team meetings were well organised, everyone came prepared and we ended on time.
Thanks to the weekly meeting knowledge was shared with everyone, and if anyone wasn’t in the room they could call in from where they were. Notes were taken and shared, and people took action on what they promised.
Both of them were having lunch with people in their team on a regular basis. They shared their stories, dreams and issues. Openness was key in both their personalities.
I wouldn’t call any of them a technical geniuses, and they were definitely not technophobes, but very open to new ideas and to try new solutions.
Both of them were straight in their communication and if something was BS they would say it out loud.
When planning the year ahead they both arranged several training days for their teams; if you book, plan and pay this ahead it’s hard to cut training out of the budget.
They also remembered what they promised. It made them reliable, every promise counts and ads to your credibility and can also destroy your credibility when you break one. People with bad memory and poor excuses are very distressing to work with.
What they both did were easy and doable management tricks, and there were no fear based patterns involved. None of them used to refer to any leadership gurus or books. They were firm, fair and fabulous.
They were using their own gut feeling about how to get people to contribute and share ideas, and I always felt as:
‘I have freedom with lots of accountability, better focus now.’
It might have been their extraordinary determination to always share knowledge that made everyone work so hard, I’m guessing, but when someone lets knowledge flow and be shared it excites people.
A successful tribe in the beginning of human life here on Earth must have been working in this way – sharing their knowledge and recourses freely.
Thoughtless management style can easily break down a team and its people, that kind of leadership style belongs to the beginning of the industrialism era, but unfortunately this kind of behaviour is still around.
As humans we shine together as the moon and stars, both dependent on each other to shimmer.
Thank you to my past managers for showing strong leadership qualities, I will never forget.
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Thank you for reading. Sofie
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