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Manager’s Role Redefined

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Thu, Apr 21, 2011

We’ve all met people who bring their enthusiasm and passion to work with them.  Greg McKeown who co authored the booGreg McKeown resized 600k Multipliers with Liz Wiseman is one of those people.   It reminded me of the significant difference that we need to be aware of in our organizations: are our people fueled with enthusiasm and passion for what it is your business does for your customers?  A good question to develop a subsequent blog around.  
Greg’s passion surrounds his pursuit of a question that’s driven him even before writing and contributing to Multipliers, “How can we access more of the intelligence and capability already inherent in people everywhere?”

One of the most compelling insights Greg offered in my interview with him was his definition for a manager.  His definition surrounds this intention of accessing more of the intelligence and capability of the people a manager manages. 

What’s your definition of a manager?  Greg McKeown’s not only expresses the role of the manager today, it possibly best represents what is the role of the manager is for the future.  It’s a role he feels the Intelligent Organization will offer and expand upon as it gains prominence. 

McKeown’s manager role definition is “to create systems where people can manage themselves.” 

Greg feels that in many organizations management roles are stuck in the industrial revolution.   At that time the manager was generally more educated, had better access to knowledge and was most likely going to maintain this edge with his subordinates for the length of their employment. 

Today’s work environment is vastly different.  The development of the knowledge worker and the Internet makes it possible, if not even likely that a subordinate may be superior in knowledge on any number of subjects and even the business of their business than the manager.  The significant difference between the manager and the floor worker is gone.  It requires a new set of parameters and dynamics that the best organizations are quickly embracing.

The recent Egyptian revolution and the rise of Wikipedia are examples of how this intelligent organization is gaining acceptance and impacting our world.  What are the symptoms and what do you need to be aware of and be prepared to do to take advantage of this in your business?  We’ll explore that in my next blog.  

Topics: Accountability, employee performance, manager, Multipliers

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The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

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