Are you a Tough Manager?

When Forbes, for the first time in 1993, released a list of the world’s most intimidating people to work Are you a Tough Manager d and cfor, it came as no surprise that Steve Jobs was in it. Jobs, who was known to be a “toughie”, even during some of his best times, had a high D personality in his DISC profile (as the net resources reveal). Though businesses globally are transitioning towards flatter organisation structures and decentralisation, the” tough boss” is still in vogue.

DISC model broadly classify managers into two – task oriented managers and people oriented managers.

So who is a tough manager?

If you are someone who is highly result oriented, feel the end is what matters and not the means and primarily a “do –it yourself“ person, then there is an inherent possibility of you being perceived as a tough manager. This is how DISC model in a nutshell would define a person with a task orientation.

This behavioural type, in DISC would want to channel their energy into only those efforts which ensure them of results. They are highly energetic and may get over objections using influence and control. They are highly self – directed and would be driven by the challenge, adventure and autonomy in a job. They would completion of tasks and quality of deliverables, with a disciplined approach towards work.

Behavioural models such as DISC indicate that these people may need more effort to take people along and have a minimal people orientation. They would be sceptical of involving others and would even go to the extent of questioning opinions.

They would set high standards for people and insist that they be met. They would never think twice about expressing their opinions, and confrontations don’t unnerve them. You can be sure to be always on tenterhooks, if you happen to be working for a toughie.

But then, is it good to be tough? Or, is there a more effective style?

Tough managers feel that by putting pressure on their team they are driving results. But let’s look at the story from another angle. By setting difficult goals, what they do is to increase stress, which in turn may mean increased lesser productivity, minimal innovation and turnover costs.

When you are unduly forced to deliver, your body starts reacting and your health gets affected. Stressful work environments also lead people to shunning extra responsibilities, becoming risk averse or even quitting jobs.

This is not just it. Tough managers are perceived to be bullies. Though people may be working for them, they are not happy doing their jobs. And more importantly there is a serious lack of trust. If a leader is able to inspire, instead of direct, employees are likely to trust him more and would display more commitment and loyalty.

A managerial style built on trust and mutual understanding, would definitely create happier people, who in turn would voluntarily work towards goals thereby automatically increasing productivity.

But then, is it ok to be just a people centric manager, and assume that if you are soft, people would work and perform to the best of their ability?

Read on to find out……..

Sonia Kapur

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1 Response

  1. naina says:

    Nice post. ultimately its all about flexibility. your ability to adapt to different situations. I think developing good managers is important for all orgs.

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