The Semco Style 5 Principles to transform the way we work
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Step Back Management

The right kind of mistakes happen when managers learn to step out of the way

Moreover, in my view, obtrusive and intrusive leadership becomes counterproductive by interfering with the free interplay of individual talent and interest – Ricardo Semler

In a Nutshell

If someone were to ask us to name the most important people in a company, most of us would name one of the C-level executives. That’s because we’ve been conditioned to believe that organizations rest on the broad shoulders of managers. However, in reality, the most important people in a company are the ones who do the actual heavy-lifting – the technical and creative employees. Managers are, by definition, persons responsible for administering an organization or a group of employees. And, by administering we mean serving or enabling.

But, like Peter Drucker says, “So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work”. It is one of the biggest hangovers from the Industrial era that managers are often unable or unwilling to shake off. Very often managers feel important when they are involved in every decision that’s made; when people come to them for approval before doing anything; and when they lead multiple meetings in a day. However, in reality, they’re doing nothing but getting in the way of people who’re actually doing the work.

The original purpose of management is to clear the obstacles that prevent people from working effectively and efficiently. In essence, their job is to find people who are skilled and have the right kind of talents to do the job. And then, to enable them in every way to get the job done. Simply put, managers need to accept that people on their team are more capable of getting the job done and that the only thing they need to do is trust them to deliver.

Doing so will empower teams with more autonomy and people will be more motivated, creative and engaged at work. The success of a manager should, therefore, be measured by the agility of their teams in the face of a fast-changing market; their courage to experiment, make mistakes and learn from them; and their capacity to drive results through the roof.

Nothing else should matter.





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