Episode 14: Don’t Succumb to Command & Control

by | Nov 11, 2020 | 0 comments

Lean Leadership for Ops Managers

Episode 14: Don’t Succumb to Command & Control

Episode 14 Cover Art - 5 leadership interactions - Don't Succumb to Command and Control - of the Lean Leadership for Ops Managers PodcastLeadership is to serve and develop people through human interactions and relationships towards the achievement of goals that support purpose. So, if leadership happens through human interactions and relationships, what are those leadership interactions?

There are so many things we do throughout our days. And it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and busyness that we sort of get stuck on autopilot. Except for those “serious sit-downs in the office” we tend to go through the motions to try to get things crossed off our to-do list.

When we create awareness of The Five Leadership Interactions, then we can start to see what types of interactions we’re having, and to purposefully choose how we want to interact with team members. It also provides a framework for how I teach people leadership skills to management teams.

 

The Five Leadership Interactions

You know me and those acronyms and mnemonics! Here’s my memory tool for the five interactions:

Don’t Succumb To Command & Control

Because you all know I’m a recovering command and control manager. And I say recovering, not recovered, because the pull to fall back to command & control is real. If I’m not purposeful in practicing better leadership behaviors, my natural state would be to do more telling and dictating.

I find that to be especially true when the stakes are high. When we’re running behind on our production schedule. When we’re short-staffed. When our KPIs are in the red. When we have a big customer at-risk. It’s during those times that those natural survival authoritarian instincts kick in and threaten to take over.Image of The Five Leadership Interactions - Don't Succumb to Command and Control - Direct.Share.Teach.Coach.Connect - On a continuum from telling to asking to listening

The Five Leadership Interactions Framework: Don’t Succumb to Command & Control

Direct. Share. Teach. Coach. Connect.

These five interaction types exist along a continuum from Telling to Asking to Listening.

In the podcast episode, I’ll break down each one and share how The 5 Leadership Interactions can be used to frame how you go about developing your leaders.

If you want help developing the people leadership skills of your management team, schedule a call

 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What the Five Leadership Interaction types are
  • Why I say “Don’t Succumb to Command and Control”
  • Examples of each of the five types of leadership interactions
  • How you can use The Five Leadership Interactions to frame your leadership development

Take Action:

I want you to observe yourself and your interactions for the next week. Make note of how often you are in each of the five interaction types: Direct, Share, Teach, Coach, Connect. 

  • Which types of interactions do you have the most of? 
  • What do you notice about the amount of time you spend telling – either in direct, share, or teach? 
  • How does your current state compare to what you want it to be?

I’d love to hear what you learn!

 

Mentions & Features in this Episode:

FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Welcome to Lean Leadership for Ops Managers, the podcast for leaders in Ops Management who want to spark improvement, foster engagement, and boost problem solving – AND still get their day job done. Here’s your host, Leadership Trainer, Lean Enthusiast, and Spy Thriller Junkie, Jamie V. Parker. 

Hey, Ops Leaders. Today we are taking the conceptual definition of leadership from episode 13 and diving deeper into five specific leadership interactions that you have with your team. You want to make sure you stick around for that.

But first, do you remember the movie A League of Their Own? I love that movie. Of course, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but that movie is now 28 years old, so some of you listening might have missed out on that little gem. If that’s you, make sure you go find it and stream it. It’s a good one. So there are several scenes I love in that movie. One of them being the iconic scene where Tom Hanks is screaming at one of the players, played by actress Evelyn Gardner, by the way.

So he’s all up in her face, and maybe saying some pretty foul things, and he turns around and he walks back to the dugout. He looks up and he sees the players standing there crying. And what does he say? Come on, yell it out if you know it.

He screams out, “There’s no crying! There’s no crying in baseball!”

And see, that’s what I learned growing up in business too. There’s no crying in business. I learned things like “Check your emotions at the door.” “Leave your personal problems at home.” It’s not personal, it’s what? Yeah, I know you just filled in the blank. “It’s not personal, it’s business.” See, you learned the lesson too. The thing is, that business is personal, and leadership is a relationship.

Now, I know that since we’re practicing Lean, we’re trying to do this continuous improvement stuff. We love us some process. We love process mapping, and we love process improvement, and we love finding the eight process wastes. I mean, heck, several years ago, I even named my company Process Plus Results. But hear this, while work is made up of processes, organizations are made up of people, and not just any old people either, right? We’re weird, complicated, confusing, messy, emotional people with a bunch of stuff going on in our lives. As much as we work on improving processes, that’s just a method. It’s not the point. You see, business is personal. That means emotion, and the awkwardness and the weirdness of humans comes with the territory. You see, leadership is a relationship. That means leadership doesn’t happen through technology or visual boards or standard work. Leadership happens through the interactions between people. So let’s talk a little bit more about this whole leadership thing.

Now back in episode 13, I shared my current definition of leadership; how I would define it in my own words. So here it is, again, “Leadership is serving and developing people through human interactions and relationships, towards the achievement of goals that support purpose.” So we’re just going to dive into one little part of that. If leadership happens through human interactions and relationships, then what are those interactions? And we’re going to explore five specific types of leadership interactions, because we all know that leadership isn’t just all rainbows and butterflies where we stand around holding hands and singing Kumbaya, right? We know it’s more than that. What I’m going to walk you through is a framework, and it’s how I frame leadership interactions for myself, and how I teach it to operations management teams.

Now, you know I’m a recovering Command and Control Manager, right? You’ve heard me say this before. I am still in recovery, by the way, every single day. I am a recovering Command and Control Manager. So this framework is called this, it’s “Don’t Succumb To Command & Control”.

So I’m a recovering Command and Control Manager, and I say recovering not recovered because the pull to fall back to command and control is real. If I’m not purposeful in practicing better leadership behaviors and interactions, my natural state would be to go and do more telling and dictating. And I find that to be especially true when the stakes are high, when we’re running behind on our production schedule, when we’re short-staffed, when our KPIs are in the red, when we have a big customer at risk. It’s during those high stakes times that the natural survival authoritarian instincts kick in, and threaten to take over. So Don’t Succumb to Command & Control. Let’s break down each word in the framework.

All right, “Don’t”. Don’t start with the letter “D”, and in our framework, it stands for direct. When we direct, we tell. I have the control and I tell you. Now, sometimes we get all whoo and we think that directing must be bad, right? It’s not people, you know. If we’re going to empower people, then we shouldn’t direct. The thing is, directing is necessary. It’s not an interaction that we can take out. We have to do some directing in our role. In fact, if you listen to the podcast back in episodes five through eight, when we talked about recognition and reinforcing feedback, guess what? That is a directing interaction. I’m telling you. I decided what behavior was helpful. I’m telling you. So direct is not bad. It is, however, telling, and so we just want to recognize that. All right. So “D” stands for direct.

“Don’t Succumb”, succumb starts with “S” and it stands for share. Sharing is telling. It’s actually where a lot of mentoring lives because I’m sharing with you my perspective, my suggestions, my experience. I’m still telling.

All right, “Don’t Succumb To”, to starts with the letter “T” and it stands for teach. As leaders we teach, both hard skills and soft skills. And teaching may happen in a classroom but usually it doesn’t, let’s be real. Where does it usually happen? In the everyday. Teaching is still mostly telling, but we got a little bit of asking brought in where we’re checking for understanding.

“Don’t Succumb To Command”, command starts with “C” and it stands for coach. When we coach, we have finally moved out of telling, and now we’re into mostly asking and a little bit of listening. When we coach, it is no longer about doing the thing, but instead about asking questions that allow the team member to do and think through whatever the skill is, maybe it’s decision making, or problem solving for example. In my model, the “and” is an ampersand and we’re going to skip right over that.

Control is another “C”, and it stands for connect. When we get to connect, we’re almost all listening. We might ask some questions, but they’re really just confirmation or clarification questions, not really as much of those thought prompting questions we ask in “coach”. This is where empathy is critical. It’s critical. This is where we build that human connection.

So those are the five interactions of leadership – Don’t Succumb To Command & Control; direct, share, teach, coach and connect – and they exist on a continuum from telling to asking to listening.

Now, the reality is that within any one of those interactions, there may be multiple behaviors and skills involved. So “direct”, remember how we were talking about direct earlier. So within the “direct” interaction, there’s the skill of setting direction, and the skill of delegating, and the skill of giving reinforcing feedback, and the skill of giving correcting feedback, just as examples. So these five interactions aren’t five specific skills as much as they are the types of interactions that we have. We have to have all five types of these interactions when we’re leading our teams.

Now, another reality is that there actually aren’t a ton of interactions where we only use one of these five exclusively, right? I mean, we might be in a conversation, for example, where we move between sharing and teaching and coaching, and we actually have all three of those types of interactions in one conversation. Or in our one on one with a team member, we might do some connecting, some coaching, and also some directing, where we actually direct and provide feedback. So not only do we have to understand these five interaction types, not only do we have to develop our skills and become better at these five types, but we also have to move between these five interaction types in a way that team members can follow us so they don’t question which Jamie is going to show up. You know, I mean, sometimes she asked me all these questions trying to get me to come up with the answer, and sometimes she just tells me what to do without asking so I never know what she wants. Right? That uncertainty increases stress levels. So in addition to improving our skills within each of the five leadership interactions, we also have to improve our skill to move between them in ways that our team members can follow along.

So today, we went deeper into the definition of leadership, and I specifically shared with you five different interaction types that you have with your team members. All five of them are required, and they exist on this continuum from telling to asking to listening. In future podcast episodes, I’ll get into the details of what goes wrong with these five interaction types. But for now, I want you to recognize that all five are necessary and start to pay attention to where you follow them. Because remember that leadership doesn’t happen on the visual display board. Leadership doesn’t happen in standard work, right? Business is personal. Leadership is a relationship, and leadership happens in the human interactions and relationships.

So these five interactions of people leadership, Don’t Succumb To Command and Control are direct, share, teach, coach, and connect.

Now, what’s your next step this week? Well, I want you to observe yourself and your interactions for the next week. Make note of how often you are in each of the five interaction types – direct, share, teach, coach, connect. Which type of interaction do you have the most of? What do you notice about the amount of time you spend telling, either indirect share or teach? And how does your current state compare to what you want it to be? I’d love to hear what you learned. Until next time.

Do you manage a team of Operations Managers, supervisors or leads? Do you want to gain a competitive edge by integrating Lean thinking and effective people leadership into your management teams every day? Then let’s talk. We’ll hop on the phone for a quick 40-minute clarity call. You can schedule your call by sending me an email at jamie@processplusresults.com or by clicking the “Schedule a Call” button on my website. Processplusresults.com.

 

 

Subscribe to our podcast:

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Meet Jamie

pic sidebar

I’m a recovering Command-and-Control Manager who’s now on a mission to make the world of work more human. With a soft spot in my heart for Ops Managers, you’ll get the straight talk combining Lean, Leadership, and the real challenges of operations management.

Contact

Phone
720.320.0980

Email
jamie@processplusresults.com

Recent podcasts

Episode 17: Three Holiday Blues Your Team Members Might Face

Lean Leadership for Ops Managers Episode 17: Three Holiday Blues Your Team Members Might Face For many of us, the holidays bring out feelings of joy, cheer, love, and celebration. But not for everyone. And not all the time. Team members may also sometimes face the...

Episode 16: Gratitude – Thinking to Acting

Lean Leadership for Ops Managers Episode 16: Gratitude - Thinking to Acting As we focus on gratitude in November, let’s take a look at both the mindset as well as gratitude in action. “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy,...

Episode 13: What is Lean Leadership?

Lean Leadership for Ops Managers Episode 13: What is Lean Leadership? What is Lean Leadership? It’s kind of an elusive, hard-to-define thing.  In today’s episode, we’ll dive into my definition of Lean Leadership. I want to be clear that this is a living definition,...

Episode 11: Biggest Pitfalls for Managers

Lean Leadership for Ops Managers Episode 11: Biggest Pitfalls for Managers Before we get into the three Lean pitfalls and mistakes I want to share with you today, it’s important for you to know that I have fallen into every single one of them.  Building off of the...

Episode 10: Top Mistake Ops Leaders Make with Lean

Lean Leadership for Ops Managers Episode 10: Top Mistake Ops Leaders Make with Lean When folks say lean manufacturing doesn’t work as well as it “should” we need to examine why that is. And particularly, what’s a top mistake that ops leaders make with Lean. Last week...

Episode 9: What Lean Folks Get Wrong About Ops Managers

Lean Leadership for Ops Managers Episode 9: What Lean Folks Get Wrong About Ops Managers If you’re an Ops Manager, you might not know what the Lean world has been saying about you… but I’m here with today’s episode to prove them wrong.  I want to share what I believe...

Episode 8: Ask Jamie – Recognition Questions

Lean Leadership for Ops Managers Episode 8: Ask Jamie - Recognition Questions Is recognition always needed? How do I make saying “thank you” to my team less awkward? These are just some of the questions addressed in today’s Ask Jamie episode. This recognition unit was...