Many past management theorists coined terms and concepts that oppose contemporary management styles. But Peter Drucker, hailed as the father of modern management, formulated a theory that is still used today.
Drucker believed that managers should, above all else, be leaders. Rather than setting strict hours and discouraging innovation, he opted for a more flexible, collaborative approach. He placed high importance on decentralization, knowledge work, management by objectives (MBO) and a process called SMART.
To lead your team to success while supporting and encouraging each individual, consider channeling Drucker's approach. Here's how to implement his management theory.
Delegate equal power across the board.
While it's important that employees respect you as their manager, they shouldn't feel that they're below you. Every worker should have the opportunity to speak up and share ideas with their team, whether it's during staff meetings or one-on-one conferences.
When workers are treated as equals, they're more confident and motivated in their work, which benefits the company as much as it benefits them. Talk to each employee as though their role is as necessary as yours (because it is), and remind them that they have a say in the organization.
Collaboration is a crucial part of every organization. Rather than pitting employees against each other, or fostering an environment where employees keep to themselves, urge them to work together by sharing ideas, tips and guidance.
This doesn't mean your employees shouldn't work individually, but they shouldn't feel like they can't ask for help or inspiration from others. Your staff should feel like a team, and you should serve as their coach.
To ensure you're continuing to prioritize productivity, utilize the concept of MBO, a process that calls for workers of all levels to work together to reach a common goal. There are five steps to MBO:
- Review goals
- Set objectives
- Monitor progress
- Evaluate performance
- Reward employees
These goals should be SMART, or specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-oriented. Call your team together and discuss your SMART goals to ensure everyone is on the same page and understands their part in the overall objectives of the organization.
You want your workers to be confident and willing to take risks. Create an innovative atmosphere and lead by example, showing your employees that mistakes are not shortcomings.
If your team sees that you're human, that effort does not always lead to success, they'll feel more comfortable risking failure. Be transparent with them, support their ideas and never punish creativity.