Do you manage or lead people?

7 December 2014
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A certain degree of pressure is an essential part of the working life – change is created by the imbalance between driving forces and the inertia which has a hold on most organisations.

The rate of change is increasing, research suggests that an organisation will experience major change every 3 years and within that cycle there will be numerous minor events. Major change may result from new products or technology; buying or selling the business; restructuring or redundancy; new management personnel. Pressure for smaller changes maybe anything from shifts in policy; response to market pressures; incremental changes to improve productivity; or response to
customer feedback.

Whatever the source of the pressure it must not be ignored;

– Change is not a choice but a necessity to ensure economic survival;
– Proactive response provides direction and ensures better outcomes;
– People take the lead for how to meet challenges and how hard they work from their managers.

Managers have a difficult balancing act – strong leadership should not be confused with an authoritarian management style. In times of uncertainty people expect and respect strong leadership:

Direction – the rumour mill is in overdrive. Be clear about the message, communicate, communicate, communicate!

Visibility – walking the floor, being visible is an effective way of reassuring people and keeping in touch with what is happening;

Decisiveness – sometimes the quick, hard decision is necessary – make it, this is not the time to consult;

Consistency – stick to the plan – change it as a last resort and explain why you had to make the change.