I have been asked a few times recently about my management style. First, while applying for a position myself. Next, less expected, by a member of the org I joined as well as by a candidate I interviewed for a position in the team.
My answer was not very concise, as I lacked the framework knowledge to be so.
Today, I believe to have stumbled on a description of the style I practice (or certainly aim to) most often on Adam Drake's blog. Its name? Mission Command. (The key alternative being detailed command.)
Now this is an interesting revelation for more than one reason. I consider it a positive thing I can now more clearly articulate how I naturally tend to work as a team leader. It now becomes clear too what is important to me, by reviewing the key principles:
- Build cohesive teams through mutual trust.
- Create shared understanding.
- Provide a clear commander’s intent.
- Exercise disciplined initiative.
- Use mission orders.
- Accept prudent risk.
Reviewing these principles in detail, this style of leadership should not be mistaken for laissez-faire. Providing clear commander's intent, creating shared understanding, using mission orders are very active principles for the leader. For the subordinate, the need to exercise disciplined initiative is clearly also not a free-for-all. The need for mutual trust for this to work cannot be emphasised enough.