May 11 is Twilight Zone Day. The TV series created by Rod Serling was cutting edge in its time. Controversial and outside the box, the Twilight Zone brought theatre of the mind into our homes and brought with it a twisted sense of reality that radio could not produce.
“You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!”
How many times have you wondered if you were working in the Twilight Zone? Remember the times in the ladies bathroom, sharing the juicy office politics of the moments and wondering if Rod Serling was going to come out of one of the stalls? We have all been there. If you are naïve enough to think it doesn’t happen at your business, then get ready for your own Rod Sterling moment. Office cultures (while we LOVE to refer to them as teams) are a collaboration of people thrown together by an unrelated set of skills and unrelated by blood, who are forced to try to get along and get some work done. At its best, teamwork is a fine thing to talk about in the quarterly report, but it happens very seldom.
Teamwork takes time and you can achieve it, but not without managing your staff in the fashion which suits them best. If you have a staff who is comfortable with being directed in their daily work, then offering them an opportunity to work autonomously may seem disconcerting. Conversely, a group of individualist thinkers will balk at an autocratic hierarchical structure. Knowing what type of leader you are, and knowing what type of leadership your employees need is of the utmost important to your success.
Do some research on leadership styles and find out what type of leader you are, then find a group of like minded folks who are happy with that leadership style. If you are lucky enough to craft a team of your own… even better. Finding out what your employees need is part of being a leader and providing an environment which brings out the best of them is what defines an authentic leader. Yes, it’s work but so rewarding for you and your staff. “To Serve Man” might turn out to be a cookbook in Rod Serling’s world but as a leader, to serve is the basis of authenticity and success when managing staff.
Connie Hanner is a PhD student in non-profit organizational leadership and a veteran of both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Visit her website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.