As it appeared in the Daily Nation on February 5th 2019
Dr. Lucy Kiruthu
When I walk into any business, what stands out is its look and the feel. How orderly and clean is the office or shop? Do the staff look like they know what they are doing? Are they ready to assist? Do they look happy? These the questions that go through my mind. In the first few minutes of our interaction, most of us make conclusions. These conclusions can make us purchase or can send us away. How any business looks and feels is as a result of many factors. One of the most important aspects of any business is how well it is managed and led. Having the right mix of both management and leadership styles should be every business owner’s priority. Managers too must be aware that how they manage and lead defines the mood of their organizations and affects the overall culture.
Many of us have a good understanding of what management is. Management is considered a process through which we get things done, it is task oriented. The process includes functions such as planning, organizing, directing, leading, coordination, controlling, decision-making, resource allocation, problem solving among others. It is through these management functions that organizations set and achieve their businesses’ objectives. Unfortunately, many do not understand what management is not. As such, management styles that are not ideal, acceptable or productive have crept into some of our organizations.
One of the management styles I have heard most staff complain about is micromanagement. Micromanagement is the best example of over-management. A manager who is a micro manager closely observes and even controls every aspect of their staff’s work. These managers over instruct, they require every task to approved by them, demand regular updates from every employee on mundane activities, , they do not allow staff to make any decisions without consultation, and their ability to delegate is poor. I remember in my early career life reporting to a managing director who received a copy of each of our emails. It made us believe that he did not trust us. Staff who feel micromanaged are not as productive as those that feel that they have the freedom to do and be at their best. Are you aware that over management negatively affects the look and feel of your organization?
Managers who have built their leadership ability stand out from the crowd. These managers understand that leading is an important function that influences relationships. Such leaders have a clear vision and inspire a shared purpose. They guide and shepherd their people towards that vision and in the process achieve organisational objectives. Unfortunately, most organizations do not have such leaders. These organizations can be said to be under-led and often over-managed. Without the right leadership style, staff feel unappreciated and insecure. If you feel that your staff are over managed but under led, take action today. Do you managers understand the importance of leadership in management? What is their overall ability to lead? The starting point is to develop the leadership abilities of your managers.
Dr. Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer. Connect via twitter @KiruthuLucy