Boy, how times have changed! We were discussing the Sinclair C5 in the office this week and many here had never even heard of it, let alone seen one!
Launched during a by-gone age (1985!), it became an object of media and popular ridicule during 1980s Britain and was a commercial disaster, selling only around 17,000 units, although according to Sinclair, it was “the best selling electric vehicle” until November 2011 when the Nissan Leaf had sold over 20,000 units.
Ah, 1985. What was management like in those days? Well, many managers could get away with what today would be decidedly un-PC behaviour and get rid of people almost on a whim.
How have management techniques changed over the years? That was the subject of our discussions after we had had a few giggles at the C5’s expense.
And we reckon we have come up with today’s management ideas in a nutshell.
Your job as manager today is to create a climate that encourages and values the contribution of each person to the team effort. Your people’s energies should be directed towards problem solving, task effectiveness and achievement of your goals. Your energies should be directed at providing the best possible conditions that allow your people to contribute effectively.
Quite a change, I’m sure you’ll agree. Better, as well? We think so.
How do you encourage people? How do you make sure their energies help you achieve your goals? How do you provide the conditions for people to grow and thrive?
Today’s manager simply has to be a good leader as well. Management skills refer to the hard skills that are necessary to get the job done. Leadership involves the softer skills that builds on the ideas people have, deals with the resistors they come up with, and gains the buy-in that is necessary to allow people to motivate themselves to achieve the goals you need to hit.
A far cry from those halcyon days when Clive Sinclair ruled the electronic vehicle world. Tell the truth, not sure if I could actually have fitted in one!
Originally published: 1 February, 2012
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