Submitted by John McKee
Some time ago I received a phone call from a man in the construction industry asking for advice on a new role he had recently taken.
His hometown was like most US cities: businesses were struggling. His company had to constantly make expense cuts to survive, including downsizing. As a result of these staff reductions, my client was now to report directly to the CEO, and he was responsible for managing several additional employees.
The employees that remained after these cuts were unhappy because their numbers had dwindled but the workload had not.
This guy wanted me to help him get his team to work on the items he felt were the most important. And the more we talked, it became clear that his employees were worried about their futures at this organization and were actively job searching. This guy was like a lot of managers. And this is one of the many problems companies faced.
1. Leaders need to get more done with fewer resources. Most managers need to learn to adapt if they want to succeed.
2. Execs need to start being more entrepreneurial. Many leaders still do not seem to comprehend how to act like entrepreneurs. If they continue to act as they do now, many of their good employees will leave their company, causing a negative effect on the organization as a whole. Don’t be a leader in a place that defines success as simply getting by year by year. Be a leader that strives to innovate new ways to succeed.
3. Force and power are NOT the same thing. When a company is going through a rough time, many managers force their teams to work harder to increase productivity. But by doing that, they end up breaking their spirit. Having the power to inspire your team rather than having to use force means the difference between a successful company and a failing one.
Remember to ask your team for their input:
- Your team members may often have innovative ideas once they get their hands dirty with the work you give them.
- If you ask, you may discover that your staff members are prepared to make some changes in their roles such as moving to a part-time position or giving up their benefits to keep their jobs.
- If you ask for their opinions, your employees will be more accepting of change then if you just force change upon them. And as a result, their productivity will not crash and burn.
The future of business in this changing landscape is looking rough. But I’m certain that truly talented managers will succeed, as long as they learn to adapt to the changes around them. It’s the managers that are stuck doing things the old-fashioned way that will fail.
To your future.