Clarity Management Consulting

Posts Tagged ‘diversity’

Self-Sufficiency: A Key Factor in How Women Entrepreneurs Approach Risk Sharing

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Self-sufficiency is a characteristic that influences the way women share risk as entrepreneurial leaders.  Women play diverse roles in their professional and personal lives.  Consider a woman who has a career, a family, and an elderly parent.  Each role demands a high level of commitment.  These roles do not always come with additional resources for delegation.  Consequently, the woman who has to fulfill these commitments must do the job herself in many cases.  This results in a level of self-sufficiency that is unique to women.

Women develop an acute sense of responsibility in these situations.  This is an essential part of risk sharing.  Entrepreneurs shoulder complete responsibility for their businesses.  These leaders often have to step in and take up the slack in critical situations to ensure success.  Women who succeed as entrepreneurs become proficient at delegating responsibility while holding themselves accountable for business results.  They learn to share risk over time.  Their self-sufficiency in meeting the challenges of their day-to-day lives provides a unique foundation upon which to build these skills effectively.

Comments on Management Styles

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Changes in Management Styles

Management styles have evolved to meet the challenges of a tumultuous business climate.  The global environment has been in flux for well over five years.  The financial meltdown of the last three years exacerbated this.  The managers who have been effective during this period are those who were either adaptable already, or who learned to adapt as things changed more rapidly.  In turn, they helped their teams become flexible as well.

The Role of A Manager

Managers must realize that they play multiple roles.  Managers are part of the team and as such, they have to know when to play a collaborative role.  They also serve as coaches when needed.  On the other hand, they must communicate the overall strategic direction, as well as defining boundaries and required outcomes.  Teams are rendered ineffective when a manager is not proficient in juggling these roles or does not recognize what is needed in a given situation.

How to Identify the Impact of Your Management Style

You need to find out how you are affecting your team members, and the only way to do that is to ask.  360-degree feedback is indispensable.  The approach can vary.  I recommend that managers do things to cultivate relationships with direct reports so that healthy communication becomes the norm.  This will help ensure that feedback comes naturally rather than just being part of a formal discussion.

Ways to Change Your Management Style

Build a level of trust with a few key direct reports who can serve as sounding boards.  These people will benefit the most from any improvements in your behavior.  Conversely, they will suffer the most if you do not change.  Why not get their input on how to change?  A simple approach would be to ask a team member to observe various behaviors and report the observations, with some thoughts on how to be more effective.  This will provide some critical and, perhaps, surprising insights.