My background lies solidly in Direct Selling. Think Network Marketing, Party Plan, Multi-Level Marketing. That industry has it wrapped up on the leadership and management Those of us who built huge geographically dispersed businesses with relatively hands-off management, know some powerful secrets of success.
I am constantly saddened by the short sightedness of management, in thinking they will get more from their people by pushing and micro-managing. I believe signifies lack of leadership development or even insecurity. We are creative beings with innate drive to learn, not robotic responders (unless you train us that way). We under perform by learned helplessness and lack of purpose.
As a leader ask yourself, “how do I react when I’m smothered or pressured? Does it energize, inspire my motivation? Does control and pressure make me want to produce more, or does it produce tension and anxiety?” The activity of micro-managing may make you feel better because it looks busy, but is it bringing the results and morale? Is the team resilient, creative? Are they self-starters?
I think you intuitively know the answer. When you treat people as if they know nothing or can do nothing without your help – you teach them to be helpless. Neuroscience knowledge reveals the approach that works is ‘letting go’, empowering and providing purpose. Neuroscience tells us people are actually more intelligent and higher performing when our brain is relaxed and not stressed or anxious.
A leader’s role is to focus on translating the company’s purpose and vision (compelling story and heart beat) into meaningfulness in their people’s jobs. Their people must feel that their top work priorities are aligned with their own top priorities (values). THIS alignment is what energizes, inspires, focuses, expands people. You can inspire and support, but let people do their thing.
When people have ownership of their role, commitment is never an issue
Ownership is holding and knowing your part in the success or failure of every part. Great managers are catalysts.
Learned Helplessness is the real enemy of Resilience
Before moving to Melbourne, I had chalked up over 16 years’ high achievement building an international multi-million dollar business in country Victoria. I had a purpose and I believed in something greater than myself, so I could inspire others. We built an international brand and turned the French perfume and Aromatherapy industries of the day on their heads. All through our people. I thoroughly trained, supported and inspired them, but of necessity managed with minimal physical presence. Most of my teams were long distance. When corporate managers grasp the dynamic of empowering their people, their sales productivity levels will sky rocket and stress levels dive. Valuable staff turnover and sick leave will drop; that’s the facts.
It is not that hard or expensive to ignite your and unite your people into purpose and productivity.