Macho Manager Myth

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Sometimes we have the impression that being an effective leader means that we have to be macho when in fact taking a macho approach can actually hurt results.

What Does Macho Mean?

The tendency for a manager to think that they must always be tough, push hard for results, be the smartest person in the room and relentlessly focus on tasks.

Why Isn’t Macho Good?

The macho manager is like a one-trick pony. By relentlessly focusing on results, he or she can burn out people on their team, and once the motivation drops, the performance also drops. This of course drives the macho manager crazy and they get even more intense only to see the results enter a spiral dive. In fact a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review illustrated how the macho manager actually tended to cause a greater number of safety issues, reduced output, and higher turnover.

What’s the Alternative?

The best approach from a leadership perspective is to have a balance between focusing on the tasks to be completed and developing a coaching relationship with your team to maximize motivation and engagement. Recognize that productive leadership relationships begin with good relationships and mutual respect. Let your employees take the lead on projects and initiatives. Even if they don’t do it exactly the way you would have, realize that their commitment is higher and will likely have greater success. Let your guard down and show your humanistic side. Be pleasant and approachable.

You are a Macho Manager if:

– You feel the need to tell people what to do most of the time.
– You feel the need to show people how smart you are.
– You push relentlessly for results without consideration for people’s motivation
– You believe that force is the best way to maximize results

Be Less Macho by:

– Involving staff in decision making and problem solving
– Saying good morning, please and thank you
– Asking instead of telling
– Encourage and provide positive feedback for a job well done
– Provide challenge for motivation