Unfolding vs Correcting and Engaging

While there are many articles that will write about Leadership as distinct from Management, and I acknowledge their distinctions, I will use them interchangeably in my blogs from the perspective of dealing with people.  Just as in origami, a mountain fold can be seen as the same as a valley fold in terms of its outcome, but derived from a different approach.  The same goes for folding, unfolding and refolding…in essence they are about folding but with different intents.

An origami piece has unfolding (also refolding) steps to make patterns on the paper with the creased lines that will be used for creating another stage of folding outcome.  Of course, we also have unfolding because we have made wrong folding steps.  Likewise, managing people is not all smooth sailing or straight forward.  There will be times whereby the manager or employee will require to correct and to engage an issue.

Correcting is a part of the learning process that both manager and his staff go through.  When an employee did something wrong, the manager and staff ought to think of it positively and be driven by the intent to get right and do better.  By not looking at it as a problem (which only leads to blaming and creates negative energy), the focus will be on an opportunity for improvement.  Positive energy will then drive the right set of actions and make things better.  Both cannot ignore that the need to have the issue corrected just because of avoiding tension or out of fear.  The same issue will return, perhaps with a higher magnitude and become explosive someday.

Managers need to take a step back (unfold) and engage their employees to maximize their potential.  Managers need to ask the right questions to staff, hear them and be interested to know them outside of work too.  Nobody likes to be taken for granted or ignored.  With engagement, the manager will draw out a stronger willingness in his staff to make things better.


Note:  Warren Bennis offered a good set of comparison between a manager and a leader as follow:

1 Administers Innovates
2 Maintains Develops
3 Accept the status quo Challenges the status quo
4 Relies on Control Inspires Trust
5 Has a short range View Has a long range Perspective
6 Has an eye always on the Bottom Line Has an eye on the Horizon
7 Asks How and When Asks What and Why
1 Administers Innovates
8 Is a Copy Is an Original
9 Is the classic Good Soldier Is his Own Person
10 Does the Things Right Does the Right Thing

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