April 21; Follow Your Manager By Being A Step Ahead;
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Four: Relationships; 21 April

… your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Matthew 6:8

Follow Your Manager By Being A Step Ahead

Anticipation

You Business Professor once took jobs as a dance instructor (I was young and I needed the money). Waltz, Latin, Ballroom–sometimes mocked as “hand-dancing.”

And disco.

Please don’t hate me.

Yes, I came to Faith through evangelists in the non-dancing Baptist’s tradition. It was complicated. Like management.

Followership is dancing with the leadership; if not dancing with the stars. Follow these steps for an interpretation of ‘hands-on management.’

Frame. This is the simple structure of what hands go where. There is actual human contact here (not always recommended with your manager). The dance steps are first practiced and learned without music only movement. There is much communication between dance partners and little of it is verbal. Not like a passive sheep. Engaged. Not Alienated. Competence and compliance follow simple rules.

Firm. The framing was nearly rigid. A common mistake seen in training both the leader and follower was ‘spaghetti arms.’ New dance partners would hold up loose, sagging arms. But dancing, like all human interaction, needs solid connections. Secure-there is no floppy disco. The following partner will offer a confident push back which gives the dance leader confidence of a solid connection. Leaders need to know where the follower is and is going. The partner knows the commander’s intent and can anticipate what his next move will be. The best followers are a step ahead.

Fun. After a short lesson on the rules of the road, the music is brought up and the dancers are lined up. There is much laughter and many missteps. (“I dance on the bottom of my feet—you dance on the tops…) A bit of practice is needed but soon the following partner easily predicts the direction that the dance team will take across the ballroom.

Not a yes-person.

Followship anticipates and predicts the manager’s next moves with Completed Staff Work that is a finished recommendation and is signature-ready.  It considers and emphasizes what the manager needs to get done: the Commander’s Intent.

The best followers lead their managers.

… your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:8.

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