Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lead, Follow, Or Get Out Of The Way

If you have been following this blog you would know that I mainly blog about enterprise software, cloud, and big data with a few occasional posts on design and design thinking. That's what I am most passionate about. Having spent my entire career building enterprise software I have realized that success and competitive differentiation in market place boil down to an organization's unique ability to get three things right where management plays a key role: 1) people who can continuously learn and adapt to change 2) processes that are nimble and evolve as the company evolves 3) products that solve a real problem and delight the end users. While I continue to blog about enterprise software I have decided to evolve this blog further by adding a few management posts going forward.

There are a series of management topics that I am interested in but let's start with the basic one which is about my core management philosophy. My management philosophy is "lead, follow, or get out of the way." In any situation I ask myself whether I should be leading in this situation or following someone's lead and extend my full support to do so. If neither make sense I simply get out of the way and let people do their job. Building, selling, and supporting software, like many other things, require a loosely-connected (to put it in software terms) organization where there are leaders who lead and follow other leaders at the same time. This gets more and more complicated as the size and portfolio of an organization grow over years. People draw artificial boundaries and lose sight of the mission and the big picture.

Leading is hard, following is harder, and getting out of the way is the hardest which requires a conscious attempt to empower people to do their job without getting into their way. But, it is an approach that does work and I encourage you to try it out and share it with others.

Photo courtesy: Pison Jaujip 


abhishek said...
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Ryan Mattock said...

Really good article! We are in the process of developing software for self employed sales agents and have definitely had to adapt and change along the way! Thanks for the follow on Twitter also :)

Cloud Computing said...

Getting out of your way is really hard esp if the expectations are high and would require you to sacrifice a lot of things. Just like in cloud, even though security issue is the main concern it pays to still give it a try and learn from each moment.

Susan Bilder said...

Technology is continuously advancing, and adapting to change is a key trait for anyone dealing with technology, whether they’re a leader, follower, or just getting out of the way. Those doing the leading can’t just keep up and adapt to change as it happens – they need to be able to predict and prepare for changes, and lead in adaptation.