I was recently at an event filled with friends-turned-coworkers when someone asked, “Michael, do all these people work for you?”
That question felt strange for two reasons.
Firstly, I have been blessed to create long-lasting friendships with coworkers ever since my very first job, and I have never spent much time thinking about who works for whom. Yes, it might be a little Pollyanna-esque but I have always been able to operate on teams where everyone was treated as an equal.
Secondly, even though I know some of the people in attendance could show up reporting to me on an org chart, I prefer to think that I work for them and not the other way around. My job is to simply remove obstacles that are standing in the way of progress. This might mean renegotiating a sponsorship agreement, procuring new assets, or simply listening to a team member vent. Eliminating anything that is slowing the team down is my purpose on a daily basis.
Too often managers get confused as to who works for whom, but I am crystal clear on what the chain of command means in our department. I always hope that I am living up to the expectations of the team and continuing to deliver for each of them daily.
Do you agree with this management style? Leave a comment and let me know how you manage your teams.