In a position I held several years ago,
I worked several years with a department head whose style often was "You people work this out, and let me know what you want to do". In the meetings he participated in, he would ask people's opinions, show appreciation for good ideas, and take responsibility for what we had to do as a team.
Rather than This
In another experience, I worked under a company president who was a retired Navy officer. His management style carried over from his military career - intimidation, negative criticism, demanding of subordination, etc. One of the effects of this style that I noted on several occasions was in meetings to address some particular issue that was important that day. When such meetings started in the president's absence, a lively discussion would quickly develop. If he wandered into the meeting, which he was wont to do at any time, everybody would immediately "clam up", and mostly just listen to the president's pronouncements. I saw, and felt, this happen on several occasions. It was the clearest example of stifling creativity I've ever experienced.
Do you have any doubt about which of these "leaders" got more cooperation from his team?
- Takes responsibility
- Shows appreciation
- Invites others' input
Can attract wonderful cooperation and participation from other team members.
- Assess blame
- Shirk responsibility
- Play the power game (those of you with some gray hair may remember Richard Nixon's frequent declaration, "I am the President")
- Speak negatively
Soon find themselves without willing assistance, and perhaps with open hostility, from their teams.