In working with the many managers that The Fortune Group has served throughout the world, one of the key danger signs we listen out for is the pronouns a manager uses. When speaking about any part of the organisation there should literally be only one and that’s the pronoun ‘we’. There should never be a ‘they’. But if a manager is to use a they, then they, by necessity, must be the people they manage. Anytime a manager refers to senior management as they, they're not even mentally affiliating with management and do not see themselves as part of the management team. Consequently, this attitude manifests itself by driving a wedge between employees and the senior leadership of the organisation, killing people’s belief in its integrity and what it stands for. It’s the 2nd on our list of major mistakes managers make.
This we/they attitude doesn’t only occur between levels of management, it also occurs between divisions and/or between functions such as sales and finance, marketing and supply chain or finance and production. In these situations, management and the people they manage have been ‘allowed’ or indeed ‘encouraged’ to develop greater loyalty or attachment to their part of the organisation than they have to the organisation as a whole…..a result of poor leadership.
This also has the effect of destroying people’s belief in senior management and what the organisation is striving to achieve. It’s a significant waste of people’s energy and intellectual horsepower, and reduces their productivity.
Attitudes in any company are highly contagious, they’re like a virus, and they can be deadly!
You can avoid Major Mistake #2, Having a We/They Attitude, by making sure that you and your team develop and maintain healthy attitudes. In our next post in this series we'll discuss
Major Mistake #3 “Failure to Manage Ourselves".