Many of today’s leaders try to coordinate business resources that are scattered over a large geographic area – perhaps even the whole world. It is common for such people to have direct reports on two or three continents, plus possibly key partners, subcontractors and suppliers even further afield. Leading such a dispersed group can be physically and emotionally very taxing, as those of us who have logged 200,000 flight miles or more in a year can tell you. And keeping the group coordinated and productive – a group of people of different cultures, different time-zones, and different mother tongues – can be a monumental task.
Is there a way to survive and thrive in this kind of job while maintaining a reasonably normal personal life? Here are seven tips that may help.
One problem seen by many growing technology companies is that managers are involved in decision making at all levels. This phenomenon is sometimes called “micromanagement”. It creates stress on both managers and workers and leads to a lack of agility as an organization. Micromanagement is a symptom of a lack of empowerment. Such a lack limits the ability of a company to make full use of the talent and energy of its workers.
Empowerment is a management and organizational style that enables people to practice autonomy, control their own jobs, and use the full sets of their skills and abilities to benefit the organization. Empowering people allows leaders to spend more of their time on important, higher-priority tasks, and facilitates faster and better decision making throughout the company.
To be empowered, a worker must have four attributes: the authority, the responsibility, the capability and the resources to control and execute his/her job.