“So, what’s the solution?” Arnie was puzzled. “I pressed hard, we made our numbers. I lost seven good people in three months. Five technicians and two direct reports.”
“Let’s start with that,” I said.
“Start with what?” Arnie asked.
“Direct reports. Most managers think they are managers so people can report to them. That is not the purpose of a manager. Your role, as a manager, is to bring value to the problem solving and decision making of your team members.”
Arnie pushed his glasses up. “Okay. I’ll bite. I even believe you. But how?”
“Remember, we talked about a shift? A shift in management behavior to get a different result?”
Arnie nodded, “Yes, a shift.”
“Here’s the shift. Do you bring value to a person’s problem solving and decision making by telling them what to do?”
Arnie looked crossways at me.
“Look,” I said. “I come in here to talk with you, as a manager. I really don’t know that much about how things get done around here, so do I tell you what to do, as a manager?”
“Not really,” Arnie replied.
“But, would you say, I bring value to your problem solving and decision making?”
“Well, yes. I mean, sometimes, you piss me off, but, yes, you bring value.”
“So, how does that happen? I don’t tell you what to do, yet, I bring value. How does that happen?”
“Well, you ask me questions.” Arnie stopped. “You ask me questions.”