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Continued from Previous……
Managers come in all forms, shapes and sizes; pun intended, and me included.
When a worker becomes a manager first time, s/he would impulsively copy various acts of the managers with whom s/he has worked. The initial style of a manager is invariably a combination of bits and pieces of management style and practices picked up from their own managers. Gradually, the new managers come in their own and shape their own style and practice. The process is refined further through training, coaching, mentoring and practicing and keeps on evolving.
Most managers struggle with management; some more and for longer than others. Virtually all managers finally develop an overt style inclining toward a particular pattern based on personal orientation or experience or both. Some managers become Task Masters, some become Big Brothers, some become Just a Brother, some are Just Loners, some get to the Front Line, some go Behind the Lines, some become Invisible and some manage through Proxy only. These are some shades and it is relevant to look at each of these so that we can then profile a holistic manager and we also see if Holistic Manager can be a reality or not.
I shall now profile these types very briefly; just to put things in perspective. Our main topic is related to it.
Task Masters are focused on task only. There are two sides to task masters; they consider task as supreme, and they consider emotions as unnecessary baggage. The combination appears heartless and cruel and is generally hated by most people. When I just started working and I used to visit Mayo hospital, I saw a colleague from another pharma company disheveled early morning. He said his young child was sick and he brought him to children emergency and was there all night. Few minutes later, his boss came and asked him to go home, change and come back for work. His boss said he was waiting for him so he must return immediately. My colleague did as told but he felt wounded for long time. This is Task Master at its typical self. The task master manager did not even consider he was doing anything wrong. Task Masters have to ability to produce good results, but their weak area is team building and team development. Task Mastery trait may be a result of passion for achievement at one end and fear of loss on the other end.
Big Brothers are more or less opposite to task masters. They would consider many factors and then some more while working with colleagues. They would insist on knowing the families of colleagues and will be ready to make concessions when required. They may even compromise work for personal matters. Big Brothers also try to protect their team members and may go to great lengths to do so. The achievements of Big Brothers are inconsistent; sometimes they can do wonders if the team acts as one unit, or they may do poorly due to less focus on work and more on persons. Big Brotherhood may be a result of high concern for people at one end and strong belief in magnanimity/generosity on the other end.
Just Brothers are the type who act humbly and try hard to remain more of a team member rather than the team leader. They would consciously do things to stay inconspicuous and would invite everyone to make a decision. Their vote will be included, but it will not be casting vote. They would never take a decision independently and refer all matters to the team at large. If the team decision is not in line with the requirement, they would go to great lengths to convince others rather than exerting influence of their managerial position. Alternatively, they would use the name of higher management of the company to put weight in their talk. Just Brothers may still be able to achieve if they happen to have a bunch of God-fearing people as team members. However, achievements would be inconsistent and team development would be rare. Just Brotherhood may be a result of incompetence at one end and powerlessness at the other end.
Just Loners are the ones who have risen to management due to their own very hard work. They remain acutely aware they have earned it the hard way and they would never like to lose their gains. Just Loners push the team also to achieve, but unlike Task Masters, they do not command the team; they compete with the team. Their most common dialogue would be ‘If I can do it, why can’t you do it?’. Or ‘I do it in 15 minutes, why do you need one hour?’. Just Loners do not relate with the team members; they run themselves and push the team to compete with them. If a team member seriously tries to compete with them, they do not appreciate it or take it gracefully; they run faster to stay ahead. Just Loners are usually high achievers thanks to high level of effort and focus on work. The team development suffers by and large. Just Loners mindset may be a result of extreme urge for achievement at one end and strong competitiveness on the other end.
Shall Continue InshaAllah……