Managing a Team vs. Managing a Task

So this weekend team Premier headed off to the regional leader’s conference in Baltimore, Maryland, which took place at the Hyatt Regency right by the Raven’s stadium (if you are going to the Inner Harbor I would highly recommend this hotel by the way, the glass elevators were very Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory). Anyway, we came out with a great team photo and new look on managing your attitude and perspective.

One of the speakers talked about the age old concept that the grass is always greener on the other side, and how when you are in a less than ideal situation the easy move is to quit and go on to something new. However, if you commit to working through it, the grass can be green right underneath of your feet. For any female readers out there–it’s like when you can’t decide what to wear in the morning and you change six times before you end up back in the first outfit–if you had just stuck to the first outfit you could have saved yourself a lot of time and energy (and frustration). Think about the movie the Wizard of Oz. The man behind the curtain was so disappointing to the characters because he seemed like just an average guy and not a wizard at all, but really, the man was a genius. What he did for the Scarecrow, the Tinman, Dorothy and the Lion was teach them invaluable lessons about themselves by putting them in difficult situations and forcing them to work through them to reach their end goal.

What if we could all run our businesses like this? Imagine how much more effective we could be if everyone adopted this mentality of not quitting, working through difficult situations and turning the grass right beneath our feet green. As a manager, you have a choice, and that is to either manage tasks or to manage attitudes. If you are managing tasks, you will get the information you need and get the task at hand done. If you are managing the people who work under you to develop them to work through tasks and make effective decisions themselves, I think you will find that your team will surprise you, and you might surpass the task at hand, or uncover something bigger. Or maybe you will get the same amount done, but you will heighten your team’s engagement by allowing them more responsibility, which could provide you long term benefits like decreased turnover. There is nothing more exciting to me than a business where everyone is working hard and accepting the challenge in front of them in order to help them, and the company, grow. People who choose to develop their perspective and not pigeon hole themselves, so a problem can have multiple answers. That sounds like the kind of place that would make me exciting to come into work every morning. But don’t take my word for it–try managing your team’s perspectives and let me know how it goes.



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