September 12th, 2009 17:30 EST
Metamorphosis: The De-Cocooning of a Leader
All too often, managers reaching a certain level within an organization begin to feel the need to protect their position. Though it may seem perfectly natural, managers that carry it too far can actually impede a company`s growth.
I call this condition Power Cocooning, and all CEOs and other corporate executives should be aware of it. Usually, Power Cocooning occurs when a manager, CEO, president, or other senior-level executive, begins to feel almost omnipotent. An unconscious situation starts to overtake the Power Cocooner ". He or she starts to think they`re always right. They shut down the ability to listen, receive feedback and open themselves up to the creative process.
Anyone who has worked for someone like this knows the frustration that goes along with it. The staff begins to wonder how the heck this person holds onto their job. And soon questions about the ability of the higher ups " to understand the situation begin to surface. After a while an unspoken malaise and an avoidance of the aforementioned manager begins to permeate the staff.
Somehow their department seems to produce because the team " wants to avoid as much contact with Mr. or Ms. know-it-all as possible, so they do their jobs at the minimum level. All creativity is gone. Meetings are more like dictatorial events.
These insecure managers have lost the ability to realize that the best way to grow is to delegate. By listening, accepting feedback, generating creative thought, and opening up meetings to new people from other departments, managers will build a feeling amongst the team of excitement and the need and want to contribute.
I have always believed that the job of a good manager is to make their job obsolete.
By delegating and creating an atmosphere of camaraderie the manager/executive should be able to grow as well. This enables everyone to move up to the next level on the ladder of success.
From an assessment perspective, there are enough vehicles to assess team members (including managers and senior level executives) in order to gain insights into the behaviors, attitude and competencies of each individual so that the teams strengths and weaknesses are understood. This enables managers to delegate the correct task to the proper individual.
In addition there are feedback vehicles which enable team members and co-workers to assess the abilities of everyone (even themselves). These vehicles, like the ones previously mentioned, are non-judgmental and should be used to determine how the managerial and delegation processes are working.
They also allow for the De-Cocooning " of power, a very important aspect of delegation, creativity and growth.
With the knowledge that these Power Cocooners " exist, it is imperative that senior executives open themselves up to allowing all staff members to speak their minds without the fear of reprisal. This feedback only helps the organization to grow. The company will soon see a raise in productivity, motivation and cooperation.
A President, CEO or other key executive who fosters Power Cocooning " by not monitoring their personnel at all levels runs the risk of seeing their business dwindle while their staff leaves to work for the competition.
Building a business is more than beating out your competitors, going to market first, and having a strong bottom line this fiscal year. It`s also about delegating and growing a strong team. Because without good people, people who feel that they are appreciated, can contribute and are listened to, it is real hard to build any successful business over the long term.
As Henry Ford once said, you can take my buildings, you can take my machinery, you can take my land, just don`t take my people "!
Dan Goldberg is a keynote speaker and the President of Dan Goldberg Consulting, L.L.C. a training, coaching and business development firm located in the Philadelphia, PA area. He is the author of the book Lighten Up and Lead, " co-author (with Don Martin) of the book The Entrepreneur`s Guide to Successful Leadership, " and author of The Six Steps To Solid Sales Success " and The Seven Elements of Successful Management " programs and the audio tape Growing A Successful Business ". You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit his website at www.dangoldberg.com or reach him at (215) 233-5352