Manage Tasks – Inspire People!

By Kathy Miller on April 16th, 2014

 shape the futureThe more you talk about managing change, the less likely that it will occur.  Why?  Because most people do not really want you to manage the changes that you think they should make.  When people hear that their leaders plan to manage change, they might infer that they will have no input and will be at the mercy of the leaders.  Let’s admit it.  Most of us do not like to be “managed.”  The word indicates that we are under the control of someone else. Who wants to be controlled? People are much more likely to embrace what they own. 

 Last year I worked with a company that was faced with many challenges.  A new leader was put in place and she immediately spread the message throughout the organization that she would be managing widespread change. In the words of one of her team members, “ It seems that everything we had done before she arrived was wrong.”  The team felt that she did not respect them and their past accomplishments – and there were many past successes!  Be careful not to denigrate the past when talking about the future.

How we frame what we want and where we hope the organization will go makes a difference in whether we are likely to succeed in getting there!  So the next time you are communicating about a new direction for the future, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Focus on creating a positive future, not on  past failures.
  2. Acknowledge and build on the employees’ strengths and accomplishments as you strategize for the future.
  3. Communicate what you want, not what you don’t want.
  4. Once you communicate your vision and set the direction, include your team in expanding on the vision and designing the roadmap for achieving it.
  5. Concentrate on managing tasks and inspiring people.

Become the kind of leader that would inspire you if you were in the employees’ shoes!