Management Styles… Impelling or Empowering?

It’s been said, “If the only tools in your tool chest are hammers, all you see are nails”.


It sometime seems easier as we lead people to react with an impelling attitude and action when we are trying to harness the power of our teams.  The problem in the statement above is the word “react” because usually the barking of orders is caused by a reaction not by well thought out plans of action.  We react in a crisis mode when usually a crisis could have been prevented with proper planning, getting buy-in from the team, necessary training has taken place and then the execution of the plan.

From my observations, impellers tend have personality traits of micro-managers, perfectionists and those with untreated bi-polar disorders (the yellers and screamers).  Micro-managers and perfectionists do a great deal of hovering and second guessing.  They tend to cause their people to work longer hours with very little flexibility thereby inhibiting creativity, purpose and initiative in their team members.  The yellers and screamers tend to have “yes” people surrounding them because the folks who have a spine will not take the constant abuse.  I put these folks in the Manager category.  They would be better off managing things rather that trying to lead people.  In the long run, these personality traits drag on their team members and their team’s performance.  If success is a journey ( I believe it is), then teams lead by these personalities never quite finish the journey on time, on budget and with the same team members they had as the journey began.  For more on this please refer to my new book, “The Corporate Soul Handbook”.

Those who empower their people actually are excited to hire and recruit staff that are diverse. These leaders are inspired by highly intelligent, creative, self confident and self driven people and they surround themselves with talent.  Talent without training and encouragement can soon fall off the path to success so these empowering leaders provide the proper resources to help their employees to realize their full potential.  After training and encouragement, these empowering leaders give their team members the proper space to be creative.  I personally have experienced the WOW! of a great job from fellow team members because they came back to me with better ideas than I could have imagined on my own.  Empowering leaders reach levels of achievement higher than their peers over longer periods of time.  These folks are your winners!  Empower them.

So the next time you find yourself wondering why your team only seems to get things done when you have to impel them, the first person you might like to change first may be that person you see in the mirror each morning.  Once you do that, you can begin your personal journey from a manager to a leader.

Peace be with you.