Workers Either Must or Want to Follow I

The words must or want are critical for your team in China or elsewhere for that matter.  However, given the old school thinking of many Chinese managers, you need to think about how much you lose or gain depending  on the road your leaders choose. Below, I list two different paths. On the left is what happens if workers must follow. The right shows potential if workers want to follow.

If they must follow you

Workers do what the leader wants when they are :

  • Closely watched
  • Closely monitored
  • Instructed in detail
  • Reminded repeatedly

Observable issues

  • Leaders make it difficult for workers to talk openly with their superiors
  • Highly regulated
  • Concerns about oversight
  • Too many unnecessary surprises
  • Bureaucratic creep
  • Changes like ERP or technology transfer prove difficult if not impractical to implement excellently
  • Getting complete and accurate information is very difficult
  • Focus on serving the bosses needs
  • Fear driven culture
If they want to follow you, the potential is

  • Trust and checking to catch people doing right dominate.
  • Oversight is clear, welcome and effective
  • Most things get done without any need to mention twice
  • Changes as big as ERP move pretty smoothly
  • Instructions are focused on principles and goals and not the means to get things done.
  • Little need for bureaucratic red tape
  • leaders very open and even inviting for superiors to meet all their people in any fashion and any time.
  • Initiative blooms
  • Creativity emerges
  • Complete and accurate data can be easily obtained
  • Few loopholes emerge
  • Passion driven culture

This list is not exhaustive. You might be able to add many yourself. The differences are important and worth the effort to overcome throughout your organization be it China or elsewhere. The must will cost you in Bloomington, and it will cost more in China.

I do not want to say that you need your leaders to be people pleasers. People want to follow leaders that lead them to high achievement.  Workers complain against people pleasers.

So lets make a choice and work together to make our workers love Monday morning.  Anyone have anything to share along this line?

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Posted in: Being the Right Person, Change Management, China, Culture Development, Leadership, Motivating Workers

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