AVOIDING THE TRAPS

Making it difficult for yourself and others

 

POWERFUL QUESTIONS

The vast majority of the executives and  managers we meet do the very best they can - often in difficult and demanding environments - to manage their teams and organisations. It is sometimes sadly ironic to observe, when we speak with them, that some of them jeopardize their action by putting far more emphasis on the results they want to achieve than on 'how' they achieve them...
 
The desire to achieve results can indeed - often unintentionally and unconsciously - blind us. It can prevent us from seeing and measuring the impact of some of our personal flaws - or some of our mistakes - and their devastating effects on others.
 
In this section, you are invited to explore how you can possibly lead others inefficiently and ineffectively:
 
- Are you a seagull manager?
- Can you cause disabling ignorance?
- How fast do you run?
- How well do you delegate?
- How do you jeopardize the results you want to achieve?
- What tools are using you?
- How do you staff and recruit?
Are you a seagull manager?
Anonymous: "The "seagull manager" flies in, makes a lot of noise, dumps over everything, and then leaves"
We invite you to reflect on the following questions:
- In your experience, have you worked with a seagull manager? What was the impact on you? On your work? On your motivation?
- What can make you act as a seafull manager?
- When do you just "fly in"? Act quickly? Go to people's office with tasks to dump on them? Interrupt them? Take decisions too quickly?
- When are you coercive and loud in the way you demonstrate leadership? What makes you behave that way?
- How often do you consider how your behaviour impacts others?
- When you give something to do to others, do you spend time with them to ensure they are able and willing to do it?
- What can you do to avoid behaving like a seagull manager?
Can you cause disabling ignorance?
P. Drucker: "Intellectual arrogance causes disabling ignorance"
We invite you to reflect on the following questions:
- Have you ever worked with an intellectually arrogant person? What did she do? What was the impact on you? On others? What did you     learn? 
- In your experience, where can intellectual arrogance come from?
- How does intellectual arrogance manifest itself? 
- In your experience, how does intellectual arrogance cause disabling arrogance? 
What could make you intellectually arrogant? 
- How do you enable others to act? to learn? 
How fast do you run?
R. May: "It's an old and ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way"
We invite you to reflect on the following questions:
- Have you ever been led by someone who had lost his or her way? What was the impact? What did you feel ? What did you learn? 
- As as leader, have you ever lost your way? What happened? What did you learn? 
- What makes you run fast? What can make you run fast? 
How does your belief in acting and achieving result prevent you from taking a broader perspective when you lose your way? 
- When do you step back to think about where you are headed and how you want to go there?
- When do you tell yourself: 'Lets continue like this' or 'Let's act'. When do you telle yourself: 'Let's think about this differently', 'Let's             change'? 
- Can others help you find your way if and when you lost it? Who? 
How well do you delegate?
R. Quinn: "Given a choice of being effective or being in control, most of us choose being in control"
We invite you to reflect on the following questions:
- What makes you want to control others? 
- How do you feel when others exert control on you? 
- When you have competent and motivated people around, how do you let go of your desire to control? 
What do you delegate? Things you don't like to do? Things you enjoy doing? How do you decide? 
- When you delegate an important responsibility, how do you agree about reporting? 
How could you be more effective with the members of your team without exerting unwanted or excessive control? 
How do you jeopardize the results you want to achieve?
P. Drucker: "So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work"
We invite you to reflect on the following questions:
- What do you do on your own that others should do? 
- What are the reasons behind this? Which ones are not? 
- What makes you impose decisions that should be discussed and agreed with others? 
- What do you do to prevent passing on too much stress to others? (your own, others' ...)
- What do you do to prevent using threat to get what you want? 
- What makes is easy for you to work? What makes it easy for others? 
What tools are using you?
H.D. Thoreau: "Lo! Men have become the tools of their tools!"
We invite you to reflect on the following questions:
- Of what tools have you become the tool of? 
- What is the positive impact of some of the tools you are using? 
- What is their negative impact? On you? On others? 
- When do you become the tool of the tools you are using? How? What's the impact?
- What tools do you use to transform others in tools of tools? 
- How could you free yourself of being the tool of your tools? 
- How could you free others from becoming tools of their tools? 
How do you staff and recruit?
R. Reeves: "In their search for the soloist, many companies forget the orchestra"
We invite you to reflect on the following questions:
 
- Have you ever made staffing mistakes? What was the impact? The cost? 
When you recruit someone, what do you look for? What do you possibly overlook? What could you do differently to avoid costly                 mistakes? 
- What do you do to help newcomers to get to know their colleagues and their environment quickly? 
- How do members of an existing orchestra look at a newcomer when he or she is not an invited soloist? 
How do you look for diversity and synergies between members of your team when you staff or recruit? 
- Have you used or considered using tools such as Team Roles or the Team Management Profile to search for needed or missing skills           when you staff? 
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