So you managed to get your managerial position. You killed all those monsters along the way with you RPG. You solved extraordinarily difficult logical puzzles. You sneaked through all deadly traps set by the most evil characters the world has ever seen. And now you’re here – a manager. The manager I should say.
Now you can raise your sword and yell: “By the power of Grayskull… I have the power!”
You will use your power to tell people what to do or how things should be organized. And your words will change into money. Oh yes, that’s an optimistic scenario. In the worst case, by the sole power of your word, everyone around will do what you want. You will make every project a success, turn your company into the most successful organization on planet Earth, become the wealthiest man in the galactic and then spend the rest of your life enjoying drinks on a lovely beach with gorgeous companions, while donating billions to charities. You’ll be a hero.
Well, sort of.
The trick is when you became a manager your role changed. You don’t do the real work anymore. You don’t help to build projects with your own hands. Suddenly nothing depends directly on you.
Now, the bad news: the power of your word is um… shoddy. People will misinterpret, alter, misunderstand, adjust and ignore what you’re saying. Unless they want to listen to you and trust you, that is.
If people don’t trust you as their manager they will follow your will on occasions but you will likely have to check whether they really do what you want and do it the way you want. Heck, you’ll have to check whether they do anything at all. That’s how managerial power works. Have I already mentioned it is shoddy?
Of course you can roll your sleeves and get back to the real work to show them what you expect, but wait, is that something a manager really should do? Isn’t it micromanagement?
Is there a different way? Yes and no. No, you won’t get things being directly dependent on you again, unless you’re abdicating. But yes, you can make your new power less shoddy. Build a trust relationship with your people. Show them you trust them. Show them you are trustworthy so they may eventually trust you. And no, I’m not trying to use the word “trust” in each and every sentence from this point to the end of the post. Or am I?
There’s a small issue here. You show your trust by sharing your power among the team; by letting people to make their calls instead of using your Grayskull. This is a simplification (feel free to crucify me in comments), but generally the less you enforce your power on people the more they trust you, which means the less you need to enforce your power. Kind of positive loop if you ask me.
But then if you don’t do real work hands-on and you don’t use your newly gained superpower is there something which still depends directly on you? Not so much.
Get used to it.
Hint: if you trust your people it will be easier. See? We’re on trust again.