Many managers I meet in my Bridgeworks workshops initially treat people at work as ‘tasks’ because they see it as the easy way to go. No arguments, no options, just do it!
However, bringing the brains in from the car park can bring some massive gains for your business. Additionally, in the long-term, c All in all, it takes a lot of weight off your shoulders
What Would The Wise Monkeys Challenge Uncover In Your Team?
Recently I was working with a lead team in the retail sector. During the program I nominated the MD to lead a challenge called ‘Wise Monkeys’:
In this exercise, we blindfolded the more reserved managers, and ‘muted’ the more outgoing managers.
And No one knew what the task was. The MD was the only one with the information.
The rest of his lead team were very keen to help, but with poor communication, confusion reigned and tension across the team rose.
During the debrief, they identified that this situation was commonplace back at work. Due to the safe learning environment that I had established, the open and honest discussion provided a powerful learning for the MD.
Brains Or Braun? How Do You Treat People At Work?
So, do you treat people at work as ‘lumps of meat’ or as ‘people with ideas’? Are your people just lumps of meat to be moved from A to B to C? Or can they contribute ideas, innovation and process improvement? After all, they are the ones at the face level.
A true leader is someone who builds an environment that encourages people at work to engage, grow and shine.
My passion at Bridgeworks workshops is always to ensure that leaders bring out the best in others. And that managers find how to become great leaders. The spin off for them is a more collaborative, productive workplace. Indeed it is a win-win-win, for the people at work, their managers and leaders and the organisation.
Ego In The Way Of A Healthy Workplace?
To finish, here is a passage I often share with Managers, particularly if their ego is getting in the way of building a healthy workplace…
I went on a search to become a leader.
I searched high and low; I spoke with authority. People listened. But alas, there was one who was wiser than I, and they followed that individual.
I sought to inspire confidence. But the crowd responded: “Why should I trust you?”
I postured, and assumed the look of leadership with a countenance that flowed with confidence and pride. But many passed me by and never noticed my air of elegance.
I ran ahead of the others, pointed the way to new heights; I demonstrated that I knew the route to greatness. And then I looked back, and I was alone.
“What shall I do?” I queried. “I’ve tried hard and used all that I know.” And I sat down pondering long.
Then, I listened to the voices around me. And I heard what the group was trying to accomplish. I rolled up my sleeves and joined in the work.
As we worked, I asked, “Are we all together in what we want to do and how to get the job done?”
And we thought together, and fought together, and we struggled towards our goal.
I found myself encouraging the fainthearted; I sought the ideas of those too shy to speak out; and I taught those who had little skill. I praised those who worked hard. When our task was completed, one of the group turned to me and said, “This would not have been done but for your leadership.”
At first, I said, “I didn’t lead; I just worked with the rest.” And then I understood: Leadership is not a goal; It’s a way to reaching a goal.
I lead best when I help others to go where we’ve decided to go; I lead best when I help others to use themselves creatively. And I lead best when I forget about myself as leader and focus on my group… their needs and their goals.
To lead is to serve… to give… to achieve together.
(From the Speaker’s Sourcebook 2, Glenn Van Ekeren, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1994.)
Leadership Can Be Learnt
If you have managers who want to learn how to be better leaders, and change how they treat people at work, give me a call (0402 300999)