7 Ancient Secrets to Managing Creative People
SECRET ONE: Know the condition of the sheep
Follow both the status of your work and the status of your people
Get to know your flock, 1 sheep at a time
Engage your people on a regular basis
Keep your eyes and ears open to what the sheep is communicating, question and follow through with both work and personal status
SECRET TWO: Discover the shape of your sheep
If you don’t buy/hire right, you will inherit someone else’s problems. your choice of sheep can make flock management easier or harder
Strengths: Try to place people where they can operate out of their strengths and not their weaknesses
Heart: while the strengths reflect the abilities, the sheep’s heart reflects their passion. Know what they like to do
Questions to ask
– What are my people passionate about?
– Is the job a cause of a pay check?
Attitude: Attitude is more important than talent
– Star performers with an attitude put a constant drag on everyone else.
– If you compromise with negative people for the sake o their abilities, your other people will learn the bad habits.
Personality: Is someone an extrovert or introvert, do they like repetition (same thing every day) or do they like variety (something different everyday), do they like structure or change?
SECRET THREE: Help your sheep identify with you
– Build trust with your sheep/followers by modeling authenticity, integrity and compassion
– Set high standards of performance
– Relentlessly communicate your values and sense of mission.
– Define the cause for your people and tell them where they fit in.
– Remember that great leadership isn’t just professional but also personal.
SECRET FOUR: Make your pasture a safe place
The question to ask is “Do people leave office or the place of service having survived or having thrived for the day?”
People thrive if they rest. Find out what helps the people you lead rest. People will rest if;
– They are free from the fear of being harmed (uncertainty gets to the people)
If people do not feel secure at work, there’s no way they can do the best at work.
People feel secure if they are kept informed as individuals and as a team. People also like being informed of their progress before review time.
– There is no rivalry at work (people working against one another rather than with each other)
In order to fight rivalry in an organisation; You need to infuse every position with importance, Everyone should be reminded that they have an important role to play, If possible, opportunities should be rotated among the different members of the flock
– They are minimized pests at work (small annoying things) like rearranging priorities, many ‘flavor of the month’ i.e. change initiative of the month, talkative employees who constantly try to engage other co-workers in conversation hence preventing them from getting their work done.
– The hunger for more responsibility or advancement or pay is dealt with
You can help people thrive if you; Remain visible. ‘People can handle the uncertainty of tomorrow if they can see a leader they are certain they can trust today’ and Deal with problems immediately. ‘If you act soon enough, an individual problem won’t become a flock problem.’
SECRET FIVE: The Staff Of Direction
– A staff helps provide direction as a shepherd
When directing the people, use persuasion not coercion; instead of making pronouncements, make requests. After suggestions and ideas, don’t dictate and demand; instead advocate and recommend. Get in front of the people and show them the way. When people mess up, use the incident as a teaching opportunity
– A staff helps establish boundaries.
People need to know where the fence line is. When they go astray, they need to be tapped on the shoulder. A department can’t fulfill its mission unless everyone works together. Provides direction and sets expectations then lets people decide how to best get there.
– A staff helps in rescuing stranded sheep.
It helps get people who are in my team out of trouble.
– A staff represents the shepherd’s responsibility to encourage his flock.
It tells the sheep that ‘I recognize you’. It says ‘Don’t confuse boundaries with bridles’’ and reminds people that failure isn’t fatal.
SECRET SIX: The Rod of Correction
– The rod represents the responsibility of a leader to correct the people he is leading.
– The rod protects the sheep from predators and stands in the gap for the sheep.
– The rod is used to protect sheep from themselves. It helps in bringing correction. It helps in disciplining the sheep. People are disciplined so that they are kept from harm not so that they harmed. Approach a discipline conversation as a teaching opportunity. Discipline isn’t about handing out punishment or assigning blame but it’s about instruction.
– The rod represents the responsibility to inspect. Ask the followers if there is anything they need help with or anything they need clarification on. ‘People who aren’t progressively increasing in their capabilities have a shepherd who is stunting their growth.’
SECRET SEVEN: The Heart of the Shepherd
– Great leadership is hard work and unrelenting.
– Leaders need to be willing to pay the price of leadership.
– Someone needs to pay for the price of leadership and it is the leader that decides who makes the payment.
– The price a leader is willing to make is relative to the value one attributes to something.
– The quality of your return is based on the quality of your investment.
– Great leadership is not a life style and not a technique
– You could be the greatest shepherd in the whole world but if the followers/sheep do not know you as the shepherd – you are just a stranger.
– How you view your people determines how you lead them.