Managing to a Strategic Advantage

Passing Backwards

Rugby is distinguished from football; the ball can only be passed backwards. The object of the fast-moving game is to win points by carrying, passing, kicking and grounding the ball.

There is no stopping for time outs, limited substitutions and no pads. Rough tackles mean no wimps allowed. Ball control is by brute force. If you are averse to copious amounts of pain, this is a game you watch, not a game you play. You can call rugby a study in the new rules of leadership and management.

Only the fittest survive where deficiencies are quickly exposed. The variation of skills and physical requirements means there is opportunity for individuals of every shape, size and ability…as long as you have the courage.

Managers can get power from hoarding information without sharing it, they hold on to the ball. Then they wonder why teammates don’t like to play with them. Managers who don’t play the game to let others win will not likely be leaders tomorrow.

Much of conventional wisdom in management is counterproductive. If you want to help people achieve their best, they have to be in the game for more than a job or a paycheck. People do things for their reasons, not yours. Forget phony praise, baloney feedback, and useless criticism. Focus on the work environment and use tactics to influence self motivation. When people do things for their own reasons is when they do their best.

In order to move forward you can win more by getting out of the way. It’s a hard lesson for people in authority to learn if they want to be the winner and score all the points themselves.

Managing Is A Team Sport

The insider’s secret is to understand how people are motivated. Use this knowledge as a strategy to manage more effectively. Knowing why people do things not just how they do things is a strategic advantage. Everyone has unique backgrounds, viewpoints, cultures, and experiences. People see things from their perspective, not yours.

What we understand about motivation is it drives all of us. However, it’s important to understand why you cannot drive other people’s motivations or change their values. People understand motivation from their perspective; it’s what works for them. You cannot assume your motivation will work for others.

The way to motivate and manage people more effectively is to create an environment for the situation. People in the right environment with the right incentive will motivate themselves. Adjust your attitude towards others and do not expect others to adjust to you.

The following principles allow you to create environments that strong-minded and creative people can work in. The right environment will allow people to take ownership of what they do. The distinction between average management and extraordinary managers is trust, not envy, or control. To be relevant in today’s new workplace, understanding how motivation works is essential.

Motivation Principles:

o All people are motivated

o You can’t motivate other people

o People do things for their reasons, not your reasons

o A person’s strength overused may become their weakness

o The very best one can do to motivate others is to create an environment that allows specific individuals to motivate themselves

Managers and Leaders do it Different

Managers supervise. They rely on operating skills, organizational ability and use power, authority and resources to achieve the organizational goals. The job is to be sure employees get things done right with efficiency. Managers solve problems and create policies.

Leaders and entrepreneurs develop visions, use business insight, and rely on communication and people skills. They empower others to get results. They look for opportunities to do things through innovation and creativity.

Leaders tend to have less formal arrangements of the decision making and supervision process. The difference between leaders and managers is style. People with confidence deal directly and openly with problems and are not afraid to make people angry when making an unpopular decision. However, good leaders are also able to manage and mangers are also able to lead.

What is critical in today’s workplace is the ability to have others become part of the success, not in spite of it. Understanding motivation is how you lead others to greatness. It takes a commitment to learn new skills but in times of change, you absolutely must stay relevant. Old school management is out. Managers who don’t lead but simply make rules and laws kill the spirit. They are out of step with the times.

Rewards come to leaders and managers who use intelligence and do the right things. The wealth in management and leadership comes in creating excellence in people. The best performing managers’ help others accomplish goals and let them enjoy winning.

People are the wealth, not the business. The job of the manager and leader is to inspire others to create success. Hire the best, let others play in the game and lead like a champion. People around you will help you get to the goal and push you forward.