Evolution of an Effective Manager

Evolution of an Effective Manager

For those looking to advance and enhance their role within an organization, it’s essential to understand how to do so effectively. What most individuals don’t realize is that there’s an evolution to leading.

Over my experience leading my own teams and coaching others, I’ve come to identify the three most prominent styles in the evolution of effective management or leadership.

To be clear, none of these styles are right or wrong; good or bad. There are facets of each of these styles to strive for and others to be aware of and possibly avoid. The most effective leaders understand when it’s necessary to use each style and to identify the style that suits their team and themselves the best.

The Doer

Many managers fall into the “Doer” style. And this makes sense. It’s the easiest management style to transition into and the hardest to get out of. Everyone begins as an individual contributor in their organization. The best tend to get promoted to managers because they understand the work and get great results. Essentially, they get the work done.

But transitioning from doing the work to managing or delegating can be challenging. 

While there are benefits to a doer management style, there are far more costs to the team and organization as a whole if not balanced.

A doer manager quickly builds credibility and trust within a team because they are seen “in the work”. In times of crisis or shortages, a doer style effectively supports the team with extra help to complete the tasks.

On the flip side, a doer-focused manager can enable team members not to “do” the work and create unhealthy competitiveness within the team. A huge indicator and cost of the doer management style is burnout. These managers are essentially doing two jobs, and probably neither one very well. 

When a manager is heavily focused on the “doing”, they aren’t focused on the big picture and often lack strategy. This head-down, doing mindset only creates short-term results but inhibits effective long-term growth.

 Reasons Managers Stay in Doer Style: 

  • Lack of trust of team members to complete work correctly
  • Not understanding how to delegate
  • An “I can do it better and faster” mentality
  • Lack of confidence and/or understanding of how to effectively manage
  • Difficulty in letting go of the doing (they enjoy doing)
  • Learned management style from predecessors and peers

When the Doer Management Style is Effective:

  • In times of crisis when the team needs additional support
  • When onboarding new team members to show them the ropes
  • When onboarding or acquiring new products or services to get an understanding to manage better

The Delegator

The delegator’s management style shifts out of the doing and focuses on the big picture, combining both tactical and strategic components to their role.

A delegating manager is beneficial in that they focus on the department or team goals, the tasks needed to complete them, and the results. If results are lacking, they investigate to understand if it’s a process or people challenge. Once identified, they will delegate appropriately to resolve and achieve the expected results.

While there are more benefits to a delegating management style, there can be significant costs if there isn’t a level of awareness or when authority and title become the priority. 

Understanding the work styles of each team member and your own is essential to delegate or direct work effectively. This is also important for effective follow-up or follow-through of directives. 

If you’re not aligning your team members’ work styles and strengths with the work you’re delegating to them, you could be straining relationships and causing frustrations. This could lead to high turnover and job dissatisfaction all around.

Effective delegation is about creating a healthy balance between pairing the best work with the best team member and ensuring evenly spread out workloads.

Reasons Managers Stay in Delegator Style: 

  • Ineffective delegation
  • Using title or authority in decision-making
  • Unwilling to accept when things need to change
  • Lack of understanding team dynamics and work styles
  • Lack of getting personal with team members (one-on-ones)
  • Learned management style from predecessors and peers

When the Delegator Management Style is Effective:

  • Awareness of your personal work style
  • An understanding of your team’s work styles
  • When there are challenges that need to be addressed
  • When there is a lack of direction or focus within a team

The Influencer

The influencer style has proven to be the most effective and ideal managerial and leadership style. Unfortunately, it’s also the rarest of styles utilized in the workplace. 

The influencer style leads with intention and empowerment. To shift from a delegator to influencer style, managers must become very aware of their team happenings and empower them and be willing to know when to change course and accept when things aren’t working well.

An influencing manager is intentional in everything they do. They understand team members and empower them to get the results they want. They communicate effectively and give the tools and resources to support. They leverage strengths within the team and are quick to guide and motivate. In short, they are fully in-tune and aligned with their team.

This style is the least tactical but the most strategic. While they may not be seen rolling up their sleeves (even though they can), they are hyper-aware of the needs of the team, the dynamics, and ensuring everyone benefits and gets what they need to grow together.

The influencer management style is effective in most workplace scenarios because it’s founded on intentional decision-making and empowerment. If you’re looking to positively impact your organization, your team, and the individuals on your team, this is the style to make that happen. If you’re looking for more time to focus on the future and not stuck in the day-to-day, this is the style to do that, too!

As stated above, each stage is essential to effective management and leadership. But if you want to see significant gains, better bottom lines, less turnover, and more employee satisfaction – you’ll strive to reach the influencer style and shift to doer and delegator when necessary.

“The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and to influence their actions.” – John Hancock.

Are you currently looking to transition to the next management style but don’t know how? If you’re ready to thrive in your management or leadership role and start influencing others, let’s connect! Contact me today for a free 15-minute assessment to figure out where you are now and where you want to go next!

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