Management: Mutual Respect and Humility

Carrie JordanWomens Wisdom

We spend more than 40 hours per week with our co-workers. I spend more time with my coworkers than I spend with my friends, my boyfriend, or my family. So, it is important that the environment I work in is filled with mutual respect, humility, and most of all, that it facilitates my growth and my coworkers’ growth.

Clayton Christensen, author of How will you Measure your Life? and professor at Harvard Business School, was on NPR yesterday morning. He was talking about his book and he was also talking about good management, because he teaches management at Harvard.

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A manager’s job is to stimulate innovation and growth, as Christensen defines it.

He said good management consists of:

1. Achivement

2. Recognition

3. Allowing people to learn and grow

Many managers make the mistake of paying people to want what they want, or incentivizing their employees with money. Really, the most powerful motivator in life is not money. People are motivated by opportunities to learn, grow, take on more responsibility, help others, and gain recognition for their achievements. Growth is happiness. Therefore, management is an important job because it impacts the happiness and lives of staff. Management is about people.

Managers can build the culture of a company on respect and doing the right thing, or they can build it on “power-tools” like coersion, passive aggression, and punishment. Respect breeds respect in a company culture. Some managers treat their employees like assistants because they don’t know how to manage or delegate and they don’t know that challenges encourage employee learning, growth and self-esteem. Instead, this encourages frustration and stagnation.

Christensen says, “Don’t worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people.”