How do you actually manage your people? What makes an extraordinary team at all? What helps a team to become better? Here is the answer for CIO’s
Excitingly enough, the interesting answers come from the military. Enough Swiss have learned what the military is all about: commanding, controlling, correcting!
Here is a statement from someone you would not have expected:
“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
General George S. Patton
You see, actually “Command, Control, Correct” does not really work in a complex world. It is a good solution in a crisis. But if you are in normal operation, so there is no crisis to manage, then you can still give up control. The people, they know what they have to do. They only need control to a limited extent.
They need support and above all, they need to know what their intentions are. Maybe a picture will help. What do you want to achieve? It takes time on both sides to get used to this concept. And you as the boss have to take the first step. In such an environment, information equality becomes important. Give the discussion enough time and the protected space it needs. If you give more insight and insight into their actions, then you will have a team that achieves more than the sum of the individuals can ever do.
If you want people to think, give them intent, not instruction.
With this extraordinary leadership culture, David Marquet literally turned the ship around (which is why his accompanying and very readable book “Turn Around the Ship! A True Story of Turning Followers Into Leaders” is called). The USS Santa Fe went from the formerly worst to the best submarine in the US Navy and remained so even after David Marquet retired in 2009. In addition, the USS Santa Fe became a de facto training facility for new officers up to ten captains of nuclear submarines who had learned their craft under David Marquet. But hear it from David Marquet himself.
Servant Leadership can help them to tell intentions instead of giving orders. They can make themselves superfluous to the extent that it does them good and the team good. They take care of things that are important, but may be in the distant future.
That’s why, in my view, there is so much truth in the manifesto for human leadership. Especially in uncertain and complex times, this leadership helps the team, the management and the company to continue the classic command-check-check-adjust.