Excerpt from Guide Vs. Hammer
As previously observed, a manager tends to manage. It’s not a bad concept, but some view management as a sort of “risk assessment” or evaluation, and have a tendency to manage for issues vs. growth. If/When a manager adopts this view, chances are pretty good every situation — and every person — is viewed as a nail.
If everything and everyone is a nail, a manager could turn into a hammer.
Hammers typically drive nails into wood for building; using newer technologies, nails can go through objects such as concrete. A railroad spike is a type of nail, holding the railroad ties to the the track rails. Looking to the present, railroad nails are no longer used — these track rails are now stamped with fasteners. For a look back at history, check out this webpage: https://www.american-rails.com/spike.html.
It’s still a type of nail.
Today, nails are used for house frames, wooden fences, and other sorts of construction projects. In the world of business, it’s not a far-out thought to conceptualize people as nails with objects substituted for an agenda, proposal, or financial gain (i.e., a sale, cold call, landing page, etc.) and measure success merely by numbers, including income gained and expenses paid or yet owed.
What Makes A Guide Different?
A guide invests in people, helping others achieve his or her goals, not their own. A guide may be wary of risk but isn’t afraid of it. Risks are challenges; people are looked upon as potential for leadership, growth, and advancement. Again, the guide helps them meet their chosen goals.
Who can be a guide? A coach — someone who walks the path with another and creates a strategy to help another meet or exceed their goals, including setting timelines and objectives. A guide can also be a mentor — someone who, like a coach, walks the path with another, but sets choices before that person so they can decide what to do, then go over the decision before and after implementation to discuss all positives and negatives of that decision.
Be An Inspiration.
A manager tends to oversee a particular project and the person or people involved. This person stays with it until the official end of that project. The manager moves to a new project with the same team or a different one, and the “wash/rinse/repeat” method is deployed. In industries such as fast food or other parts of retail, it’s more about managing people, growing profits, and minimizing theft vs. growing people into leadership positions. Motivation comes from a paycheck, not always loyalty. It’s a very exceptional manager who inspires someone to grow and be more than he or she is.
A guide demonstrates how to motivate through example. Their approach: “been there, done that” with no monetary consideration, unless that person is a coach — coaches do get paid for their profession. A guide isn’t afraid to encourage people to leave their team; in fact, they rather encourage team members to “leave the flock”, as they say, and spread their wings. My own mentor did this frequently in the telecom corporation he worked for, and he had the most successful teams in at least two decades.
Be A Guide.
Stepping into this role isn’t as easy as it sounds. Sometimes people will disappoint you, either because they don’t believe in their mission or goals, they don’t know yet their mission or goals, or they may become too easily distracted from their goals.
Rewards aren’t on the top of the list for guides, but these do come with the territory. You are helping a person grow to their next level through critical thinking, exploration, and discovery, and — to me, the hardest part — teaching someone not to like risks, but to meet these challenges head-on. Who wouldn’t get a kick out of that?
People follow leadership.
People follow motivation and learn how to develop their own.
People follow passion.
It’s time for you to step up into your leadership. It’s time for people to follow you.
More from “Hammer vs. Guide” in another post to come.
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