All too often we hear the following coming from managers, “I shouldn’t have to do that we’re all adults” or “I shouldn’t have to [insert most anything]…” Which, to us, begs the question—what should managers be doing?
A lot of managers believe that managing work—making sure tasks are completed on a timely basis—are all that is required of them. However, these types of bosses all too often forget that they are also supervisors. Supervision is the part of the job that separates bosses from leaders, i.e., the ability to motivate and hold your employees accountable.
Leaders supervise those who need it and manage those who don’t. Employees cannot choose which assigned tasks to complete just like a boss cannot choose which part of leadership s/he will partake in on any given day.
Great leadership requires the constant use of direction and feedback. Not all employees are robots who can be relied upon like clockwork. By the same token not all employees are slugs looking to get away with doing nothing—the key to great leadership lies in knowing where to tow the line on autonomy.
Additionally, leaders inspire their subordinates through inspiring them towards self-improvement. This can take many forms such as mentoring or assisting with finding training opportunities. Expectations run both ways in an employee/employer partnership.
We challenge employers to start leading from the front as opposed to managing from afar. Further, we want employees to start expecting more from their bosses; the status quo of “I shouldn’t have to do…” must give way to the new mantra of “what can be done?”