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Different Management Styles: Is Yours Holding You Back?

different management stylesI’m up at Cleveland Reservoir doing some fishing.

It’s gorgeous fishing weather, and I’m having a great time relaxing with the family and writing this for all of you.

After my epic battle with the fish that ultimately got away, I got to thinking; the way you manage – and the type of manager you are – can directly affect your bottom line and can be an epic battle of whether the staff fights against you or is with you.

This post will look at a few different management styles and how they interact and affect your bottom line.

So without further ado, lets reel it in. 😉

Starters, Sustainers, and Finishers

There are three different types of managers: StartersSustainers and Finishers. Let’s talk about each of them in turn.

The Starters: Getting Things Going

The Starter is the master of going in and starting things and making sure everything gets up and running.

They tend to be very hands on, and can be micromanagers. Depending on the business model in play, this sort of manager can be essential to get things up and running. This style only works effectively with the right type of employee – the type that responds well to close management, which can be a little hard to find.

Many entrepreneurs, who glory in starting new projects, fall into this management category.

The Sustainers: Keeping Things Going

Sustainers are the ones that can take over for Starters (since Starters generally aren’t good Sustainers or Finishers) and run things once they’ve been set in motion.

They keep productivity and morale consistent throughout normal operations of a company. This is your run-of-the-mill, standard CEO.

The Finishers: Selling It Off

Lastly is the Finisher – this type of manager is a good closer.

When a company is being sold off and there needs to be a smooth transition, you tend to see this type brought in. You also see this type of manager in the form of the “Hatchet Man” – these are the guys that go in and gut a company, rebuild and retool it.

You see this happen quite often when the wrong type of manager was in place and things went south; the division was like a cancer within the organization and something needed to be done to excise it. The Hatchet Men may go as far as firing everyone and then rebuilding, get it back up and running to be profitable, then typically leaves for another type of that job and allows a Sustainer to come in.

A Finisher, one way or another, enables a smooth transition from one part of a company’s lifecycle to another.

All of these manager-types will adopt one of two generally prevalent management types; micromanagement and delegation.

The Joys of Micro-Management

You know micromanagers – they need to be on top of every detail all the time. You tend to see this type of management style in Corporate America, where employees are cogs and managers are gears. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen in small business, but, by necessity it’s not as prevalent.

When you’ve got five different tasks to do right now, you can’t monitor every single action of every single one of your employees That isn’t to say it is never useful – micromanagement is a very hands-on approach, and that can be useful, particularly when you’re starting a business. The main downside is that it only works up to a point; when the start-up phase if over, it’s better to let go and delegate a little. Some managers and entrepreneurs have trouble with this.

If the micromanagement attitude sticks around, you start to see management by exception, which is based on fear rather than in success. You can end up in an epic battle with your staff because employees may feel oppressed and fight back. Morale goes south and productivity drops, because nobody wants to be at work.

Once this point hits is when you may see a Hatchet Man installed into the company to retool it.

The Alternative: Delegation

Now for the other common methodology: delegation.

Delegation is when a manager figures out what needs to be done, and assigns the task to someone else, assuming they will do it and do it well.

As with micromanagement, delegation does have a dark side and it rears its head when you have the wrong type of employee being managed by this method. Delegation takes a certain type of employee for it to be successful – one who is self-motivated and diligent. In my opinion however, this is the type of person you want within your organization anyway – so go for it.

What kind of manager are you? And what does your company need?

It is very important to determine which of the different management styles corresponds to you, and what type of manager your company needs.

If you’re a Starter whose company has exited the start-up phase, you may find you start to get bored and frustrated. This is a cue that it’s time to find a Sustainer or a Finisher to take over for you, so you can get out in the trenches again. This allows you to do what you love (even if it is starting another company) and to allow someone else to do what they’re good at.

If you’re a great Starter, don’t try to be a Sustainer or a Finisher. Focus; the jack of all trades is the master of none so keep in mind what you excel at and what you don’t.

Knowing what your style is and what is called for can determine your success or failure.

Now that you know about the different management styles, do you think you are you more of the hands-on approach or do you like to delegate and focus on what you’re good at?

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