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fix. So why does management insist on pursuing that route? Because of fear to let go, fear to trust in others because their superiors do not place trust in them or they use the term, “trust but verify”. That is not trust; that is paranoia. This is most prevalent with owner/founders. A business is


their creation just as a child. As a parent you wouldn’t want to give up control in raising your child just as the owner/ founder’s fear in giving up control in raising their business. It is difficult to let go, to trust others in raising the business. This is a protectionist reaction. Others are insecure in their position. They don’t want to let go for fear that failure will reflect upon them and their career. So they strive to control all aspects of the business as they lack the trust in others. If failure occurs it will rest on their hands and not due to others. However, it is a strange anomaly in micro-management situations – when failures occur the manager rarely takes responsibility for the failure. There is a built in buffer. When the micro-manager experiences failure he or she turns the cause to employees’ failure to adhere to the instructions or follow procedures, lack employee support, insufficient resources, etc. Notice that the fault is usually directed down the food chain. It would be a career-limiting move to blame your superior for failure to supply support and resources. Accusatory fingers are always pointed down, never up. Rarely is the real source of the failure identified, therefore even robust root causes analysis is ineffective because it is diverted from the truth. If at first you don’t succeed, shift the blame, change the rules, redirect the focus of your critics, spin the media, redefine success, and there won’t be any need to try, try again! So what should we seek from our employees other than compliance? Wouldn’t commitment to the rules, regulations, and policies be a better way to go? This doesn’t require oversight but peer pressure, cooperation and teamwork. Then when you hear, “This is the way we do it” it is in alignment with policy, procedures, instructions, rules, etc. Supervisors and managers can now focus their attention on supporting the workforce, managing resources and not babysitting employees. Functionality returns. How nice – perfect harmony, right? Wrong! Like the Yin/


Yang symbol there is a little dark in the light and a little light in the dark. Nothing is pure; nothing is perfect. So if given a choice of compliance or commitment, I hope I have convinced you that commitment is the better option. But blind commitment is also not good. When everyone is thinking alike, no one is thinking much. “All new hires must attend the brain washing employee orientation seminar to replace your personal thoughts with those of a committed employee of XYZ Corp.” As the Borg from Star Trek said, “You will be assimilated.” We are not robots; you really don’t want everyone running around like a bunch of clones. Even though you seek uniformity, you will not be innovative and progress without some chaos and diversity. You don’t make heat without friction. Don’t rock the boat? If you wish to avoid a collision or discover a new path, you need to nudge


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