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The Stylish Guide to Management Style

        posted by , February 20, 2013

Style sounds like it might be optional. For managers, it's not.

Style is how you match your profession to your personality. After all, if these two things don't match you'll probably be both unhappy and ineffective.

Others may find your style difficult or they might find it ideal. How others feel isn't as important as you might imagine.

These 7 basic sanity checks for your management style get to the heart of management productivity. If these pass, you're doing well.

The art below each sanity check is the work of Paul Gauguin who pioneered the Synthetist style of modern art.

1. You like yourself.

Style is loving yourself until everyone else does too.
~ Prince, Style
Listen to Prince. He knows what he's talking about. He's a legend. He has sold over 100 million records. His estimated wealth is $250 million. He's great at basketball.

And he did it all with style. Plenty of style.

Likability is key to influence. You can't expect to motivate and inspire your team if you don't like yourself. Every time you do something that goes against your principles, ethics or general outlook on life it can trigger self-doubt.

Portrait de lartiste au chapeau
(Portrait de l'Artiste au Chapeau)

2. You don't keep score of things that don't matter

It's amazing how many managers devote much of their energy to things that add nothing to business. For example, managers might be more interested in scoring points in political battles than in achieving business value. Others might be interested in rigid enforcement of nonsensical rules.

Keep score of the things that matter — business value, innovation, helping others succeed ... there are plenty of things that matter.

The Siesta
(The Siesta)

3. Your free of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt)

One of the basic functions of management is to provide direction. Your team are looking for a fearless leader who provides certainty against the constant chaos of business uncertainty.

Leaders may feel fear and doubts but they don't show it. The social function of leadership is to eliminate uncertainty and doubt.

he Vision After the Sermon Jacob wrestling with the Angel
(The Vision After the Sermon ~ Jacob wrestling with the Angel)

4. You're on top of things

Management implies the responsibility to manage people and resources. Managers add value by optimizing the use of resources. Maybe you're lucky and you're managing self-optimizing people and capital investments. This isn't usually the case.

If your management style lets things slide, it's time to rethink it.

Moisson en Bretagne
(Moisson en Bretagne)

5. You regularly find problems and fix them

If you're not finding problems, that's a problem. When you stop finding problems you stop improving processes. You stop learning.

Paul Gauguin self
(Self Portrait)

6. You're influencing events, people, ideas and initiatives beyond your authority

You extend beyond your authority to champion initiatives and ideas.

Pape moe
(Pape Moe)

7. Your team is a team

Your lead functioning teams who cooperate and support one another. Internal politics aren't a major distraction.

Cafe de Nuit Arles

This is an installment in the ongoing series of posts called Management: The Missing Manual.

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