“I See You” Management

“I See You” Management, by Walter McIntyre

Connectivity between human beings is the beginning of synergy.  It is written in our genetic code and expresses itself in our drive to connect to others and be part of a group. Since this is how we are wired, it only makes sense that the most effective management styles, as far as us humans are concerned, leverages this aspect of our specie’s corporate psyche.

I would call this “I See You” management. I did not coin this phrase, but since I cannot remember who did, I will use it for this post. The way I see things, “I See You” management is based upon three levels of recognition.

I see you. You are here and I acknowledge your presence. This is important to the individual because we all want to be a part of the group or team. Recognition is a powerful fulfillment agent when it comes to our personal emotional bank account. This is consistent with the conclusions from Elton Mayo’s Hawthorne Works experiments from the 1920’s.

I also see you as a person with hopes, dreams, joys and fears. A complete person fills my vision. You cannot effectively manage a person from the perspective of seeing them as an available asset rather than as a person. The ability to motivate someone comes from knowledge of their personal value proposition. Lou Holtz, as a football coach, would require the players on each special team to know their teammates full names, the names of their immediate family members and some special fact about them. Coach Holtz knew that a player would block more effectively for “Bobby”, who they knew, than they would for the “running back”, even though they were the same person.

I value you for who you are, not at the level of your title or your possessions, but instead, at the level of your commitment and effort. This is tricky ground because I am not speaking exclusively about commitment and effort at work. Although these are critical to acceptable performance at work, I also will also value you for your commitment and efforts on behalf of others outside of the work environment. A lot can be learned about someone by how they treat others. I was at a restaurant recently with a business acquaintance who wanted to join my business team. He was disrespectful to our waitress and others he encountered while there. Even though He was very respectful to me, I could see that he only valued people for what he wanted from them. This attitude did not fit our culture and I did not hire him.

In another instance, one f my employees had a habit of badmouthing and undermining others.  Just like the business acquaintance above, this employee only valued others as stepping stones for his personal career development.

The result of “I See You” management is trust. Trust is the interpersonal lubrication that allows successful organizations to tackle tough problems and weather the storms of uncertainty. It is also the glue that keeps a team from despair and fragmentation. It keeps an organization in alignment when other forces are trying to pull it apart.

In my daily walk through my business, I try to touch every employee with a message about their value to me and our business journey together. I expect them to do the same. It keeps us sane, focused and successful.