After reading the title of this blog, you must be thinking. “What? Are you nuts? How could you fire all your managers? What’s going on there?
Before I explain our philosophy, let’s quickly take a look at the definition of a couple of key words.
Manager: a person who has control of an institution, business.
Leader: a person who guides, moves and/or inspires others.
We don’t need people to horde control at Roma; we need people capable of inspiring others, guiding and mentoring them. So we got rid of the mangers and hired great leaders.
Managing is a task or a duty; something that a person does because it’s their job. Whereas leading is a privilege and an opportunity to improve the lives of others while simultaneously experiencing a journey of self-discovery. I can tell you from personal experience that leading is far more fun than managing and achieves far greater results.
Managers are associated with policies, performance reviews and groveling for time to be with your family. Leaders are associated with the greatest feats in our history. Martin Luther King and Gandhi didn’t manage movements that changed the world, they lead them! Leaders create opportunities and facilitate change.
Imagine for a moment that our schools were full of leaders instead of teachers. I’m not suggesting that our teachers don’t possess leadership qualities, the opposite in fact. I say we remove the title of teacher and replace it with leader. What kind of an impact could that have on the next generation of leaders?
At Roma, we’ve removed the word manager from all jobs titles. The transformation has been tremendous. Enabling a trusted ally to lead, rather than manage has produced extraordinary results. We have high expectations of our team members and as previously mentioned we only hire the best. I can tell you that the best aren’t interested in being managed but are yearning to be led.
“The right people don’t need to be tightly managed,” said Jim Collins. “The right people are self-disciplined, self-motivated, self-managed or self-obsessively driven to make great results; they are self-learners. As we wrote in Good to Great, the moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you might have made a hiring mistake. Guide them, yes. Teach them, yes. Manage them, no.”
The above quote from one of my favorite authors perfectly articulates my sentiment. I realize it can be scary to place that amount of trust in someone. You’ve spent years or generations building your business and caution is appropriate but avoid trepidation.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz eloquently once said, ““Early on I realized that I had to hire people smarter and more qualified than I was in a number of different fields, and I had to let go of a lot of decision-making. I can’t tell you how hard that is. But if you’ve imprinted your values on the people around you, you can dare to trust them to make the right moves.”
Leaders aren’t born, they’re made and you can start developing leaders in your company today. Here are my tops three resources that will help you and your team become better leaders.
Can you remove the title manager from your company? If you can’t, you may need to invest in leadership.