How many people do you know that are mature enough to self-govern and self-manage? Police themselves, traffic police themselves, discard of their litter in a responsible way, smoke only in designated areas, do everything with a win ǀ win approach, pay taxes over correctly and even think safety, health and for the good of the environment in everything they do?
In theory when we are not able or willing to self-manage we create the need for others to manage us. Now structures have to be put into place to police, to monitor, to enforce and punish.
The danger when creating such a need is when those who can self-manage effectively are few and far between, those who end up governing will, due to statistics, also struggle with the idea of self-managing. The result is a system which creates more trouble for all concerned. It is bad enough when people need to be policed but when the “police” also need to be policed the society becomes a dangerous and ill-fated melting pot.
A common fear amongst team members in organisations is that they will be micro-managed.
I feel that micro management is something we bring on ourselves. The best way to avoid the angst associated with micro-management is to practice micro-accountability. Keep everyone who needs to kept in the loop with your progress in the loop. By doing this you lessen the need for people to have to check up on you.
We like defining accountability as keeping the right people informed of your progress without them having to ask.
Practicing accountability in this way will be a great start to making a refreshing change but it is not enough.
Before you can practice accountability to have to have the building blocks of accountability in place:
- Take ownership – in our programmes we say “become the MD of your desk.”
- Set goals.
- Design goal measurements or tracking devices.
- Set timelines.
- Make commitments.
- Keep a record of your commitments.
- Make sure someone else makes a note of your commitments.
- Monitor your progress.
- Make all necessary adjustments in a timely fashion if your veer off course.
- Ask for sign-off by those you deliver to.
Self-management requires high EQ
Notice how every Easter and every December the authorities preach road safety.
Notice the death-tolls after all the years of these campaigns.
We do not need another campaign on slowing down, we need road users to grow up.
By Louis Gerke
Development Facilitator – The Ripple Effect
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