Hi all,

I have been reading a lot on MT and I find discussions and experience sharing very enriching for me, thank you all for contributing to such a great source of knowledge!

This is my first post here and I will be glad if you take the time and effort to share your thoughts with me as I do not have a wealth of experience behind my back.

I am interested in what your comments are regarding using a more open minded management style which seems to me is more in line with contemporary business environment. It seems to me this is especially so in software industry where employees are usually highly educated, intelligent and have both unique contribution and need to perform brain work rather than simply doing repetitive tasks.

Here is an article which explains in more detail the type of leadership I mean:

My 3 questions I would appreciate your comments on are:

1) Do you think this is the new way forward, given the dynamics and agility in modern, quickly changing industry as software? Do you think that this can empower employees and innovation and help the business not to fall behind in such a quickly evolving and competitive field?

2) Do you think that a young manager could be wrongly mistaken and perceived as 'immature' or 'empty-headed' or 'indecisive' because of employing such a modern and opened management style which differs from authority power based management style?

Note, that with this style, the responsibility and final decision is still with the manager and the principle of 'share the praise, own the blame' is still valid.

For example, a growing company faces a lot of problems but it seems to me that this type of management combined with formal procedures that are not simply bureaucracy but gathering the knowledge on the table at the relevant levels will make decisions and dynamics better, do you think this is true?

3) Do you think that there is still stigma related to young managers and innovative ways of leadership applied or suggested or proposed by them? If you think there is still stigma attached would you please elaborate more on this?

Thank you very much for all your inputs and regards,

JohnG's picture

Hi Svet, Based on what you've said and what the article you linked to covers I don't think there is much that contradicts the behaviours and practices that Manager Tools recommends. For example they heavily emphasise the importance of relationships, that good mangers use 'relationship power' far more than 'role power', and that great managers both delegate and coach.

There may be some issue with cultural fit if you're working in a location that is used to a much stricter hierarchical structure, but in Europe or the Americas for example I don't think that would be a concern. I doubt any boss is going to care about one of their staff listening to their team if they're getting results however if you aren't getting results and it comes across like the tail (your team) is wagging the dog (you) then they might see it as you struggling to manage. Talk to your boss about what he wants, what he values in a manager etc and keep them in mind when you're deciding how you want your team to operate.

To give an example based on a recent interview question and answer. I was asked how I would respond to a member of my staff who was jeopardising an important project by providing widely inaccurate completion times, would I manage them to improve or get into the weeds and do it myself? My response was that I don't like taking work off members of my team, and being able to estimate reasonably small tasks is a key skill, so these would be things we'd have to to work on; however, if the success of a critical project relied on those estimates being right I'd take as much of that responsibility on as required to get the result. The wrong answer in my opinion, and where open-minded management could be taken too far, would be to continue to allow failure because the staff member wanted to keep trying and you thought overruling them would be 'close-minded management'

Svet.'s picture

Thanks, John, for taking the time and effort to respond. I agree with your response and espeacially with the part of the contextual situation - small tasks are one thing while project critical ones require different behavior.

As to the situation at hand - the team delivers and gives great results, however a more senior manager undermines this type of management and brands it as 'not seasoned manager' applying it and insists on non efficient role power based orders for smalll stuff while not understanding the bigger picture. How would you deal with such a person, being more senior and regarded as competent while clearly results and everyone else down the chain see it for what it is?

I saw some more interesting posts by you - I will read through all of them later these few days as I can, and will be glad to exchange thoughts and views. 

Best regards,