Dedicated to all those Intrapreneurial SuperManagers who create a bigger, better, brighter, bolder future for all their team-members.
What does it take to be a “SuperManager”?
We get our first clue from the difference between a market – a Grocery Store – and the rise of ‘Supermarkets’.
Picture the traditional General Store or Grocery Store from the movies and TV dramas…
It’s quaint and it’s focused on one-point-of-purchase-before-exit. Behind the counter is the all-competent, advice-wielding, all-knowing (and thus all-powerful) Store Owner. Let’s call their SuperName “Proprietor” – for that would only be proper. Whatever you need, Proprietor can source for you – you are safe in her or his hands, all your needs will be met. They are your Source.
As a generalisation, in a General Store, your needs will be met by a done-for-you system. It’s cute, quaint, and antiquainted (a new word based on quaint but antiquated!)
It is the antithesis of empowerment.
Shift your paradigm’s focus to that of the Supermarket and all of a sudden you have the power – the power of choice and the impact of scale.
The downside is that it can become impersonal and anonymous – after all, Proprietor knew your needs (and your business!) However, in the best-case scenario, the focus is on mutual empowerment through scale and choice. The store gets the ROI only available by empowering customers to serve themselves based on the increased and enriched choices they are informed of and by the motivation to buy.
SuperManager also has the benefit of scale and choice. She or he wants you to be equipped and empowered to choose – or, to use a phrase dear to Employee Engagement, to make well-informed “discretionary effort“. Discretionary effort makes the difference between a good team member – a good team player – and a great team player.
To achieve these kinds of results, the SuperManager has a different scale of vision – they think bigger. Instead of holding control as in the counter manager of the General Store, they yield control to the team, leveraging the team’s time and talent to create abundance.
2 Freedom from Fear
Of course, to yield control, the SuperManager must be comfortable in their own skin with their own identity. If they see their identity and power as vested in their job title, we could have a problem. After all, a ‘Manager’ necessarily ‘manages’ – and ‘manages resources’. (Hence the rise of that horrible term, “Human Resources.”) A SuperManager manages Human Potential.
The SuperManager is free from the fear of losing status and kudos if they give away the power of decision-making and proaction to their team-players. A SuperManager gains power by giving it away.
And here’s the exciting message: The SuperManager who gives away power to the team saves energy for themselves and givesenergy to their team members – energisingthem in the process…
In the end, it is all about energy
SuperManagers also have super powers! Theirs is to return to the personalised service of the General Store without losing the ROI that is enjoyed by the Supermarket model of scale and empowerment. They move from supervision to SuperVision… and there is a World of Difference!
The Supermanager personalises their understanding of each team-player AND tailorstheir ‘TCM’ approach to each member of the team.
What is ‘TCM’? It’s the Supra Identity of the SuperManager:
Yes, the SuperManager is a Manager first and foremost, but with the power ‘over, above, and beyond’ to put on the identity and play the role of trainer, coach, and mentor too.
To achieve this, they must have the right tools to finish the job.
Let’s think about Batman for a moment. He’s my favourite because he has no ‘super’ powers but rather leverages ordinary human ability to extraordinary ends through an entrepreneurial approach to generating wealth, creating innovation, and all upon a noble ethical foundation. Of course, let’s not forget he works hard at this – he’s in good shape physically – AND that he’s having to fight his own battles for his mental wellbeing. He’s damaged-goods come good!
In a similar way, the SuperManagers I’ve met have invariably had a trouble in life. They have become’healed’ from an earlier postion of being damaged-goods. Most are a work in progress. It seems that facing their own battles produces character, resilience, and empathy – or what we now celebrate as ’emotional intelligence’.
These SuperManagers work out! They look after their health physically, emotionally, and mentally. Then they learn how to use the tools that will leverage the greatest results.
The SuperManagers I work with use these four tools:
- Contribution Compass – a diagnostic that gives direction to team members – making certain they are in the right role to do their best work
- Motivational Mapping – the energy-health MOT that defines the perfect mix of fuels to energise the fulfilment of the perfect role for each team member – recalibrated every year, just like an MOT
- Mind Mapping – the fastest way to organise strengths and activities for maximum productivity – used to create a season ‘Map to the Future’ as a dashboard for action
- PsychoGeometrics – the most effective way to ‘frame’ communication in each and every situation so that the team gets the right message in the right way at the right time.
Once the SuperManager in you begins to understand the power that energises each of your team-players, you’ll also be on the look-out for the Villain in our story… AntiManager!
We’ve all met this Villain many times in our careers – the manager that ’causes’ us to leave a job because of the way they drain the very life-force out of us and strip away the joy of the work.
It is said that most people leave a manager, not a job…
The AntiManager can be nine members of the Injustice League.
All of them are nefarious Masters of Stealing Energy for their evil End Game.
- Destructor – seeks to destroy everything you build
- Indirector – spreads confusion when you thought you had clear direction
- Slandor – spreads fog over your audience every time you seek to share your expertise
- Basementor – distracts you with busyness and down-to-earth urgent non-necessities everytime you lift your head to discover more spiritual matters
- Dismembor – seeks to destroy everything you begin to create
- Pointless – ridicules your search for meaningful outcomes and work that makes a difference
- Dissentor – spreads suspicion and dissent when you seek to build collaborative relationships
- Invador – lives to thwart every effort you make to defend what is important to your security
- Distractor – shifts the opportunities away from you every time you get a chance to shine.
What a bad bunch!
Seriously, I’m exaggerating the point. Simply put, there is one way to discover whether or not you are in the grips of the AntiManager:
If your ‘boss’ is sapping your energy, you have fallen into the hands of an AntiManager!
SuperManager to the Rescue
All great stories need a Hero and a Villain.
We’ve all experienced the negative-impact of working under an AntiManager.
Some of us have been fortunate enough to enjoy working with a SuperManager.
But there’s a twist in the tale.
Real SuperManagers aren’t the Hero of the story.
Or that is to say, they make you the hero of their story.
SuperManagers are teachers and guides.
Mr Miyagi is not the hero of, “The Karate Kid,” – the Karate Kid is!
…Obi-Wan Kenobi is not the hero of, “Star Wars,” – Luke Skywalker is!
Gandalf is not the hero of, “The Hobbit,” nor of, “Lord of the Rings,” – Frodo Baggins is!
Aslan is not the hero of, “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe,” – Lucy, Susan, Peter, and Edmund are!
- Fret not, SuperManagers – you still get to have amazing ‘Kung Fu’ – or at least ‘Karate’!
- You can still be a Jedi.
- Hey, you can even be a Wizard.
- …And let’s not forget, Aslan was never a tame Lion…
but the focus is on the fellowship – the team – the crew.
Discretionary Effort Saves the Universe
The Force, the Magic, the Action that saves the Universe is ‘Discretionary Effort’.
This is what the SuperManager inspires, empowers, and energises.
As teacher, trainer, coach, and mentor – you tune-in to the best role and perfect motivating energy for each member of your crew, team, fellowship, tribe, community… Then you fan that flame to fame.
- The result will be SuperEmployee Engagement!
- The result will be more energy for you!
- The result will be meaningful, sustainable, and profitable victory.
And how can you know? You’ll know when your team-players become proactive. They’ll begin to shine in areas that are not your natural strength… empowering you to be in flow – doing your best work 80% of the time while they remain and sustain their own flow, 80% of the time.
Then, and only then, will you enjoy exponential growth.
Up, up, and away…