Are you a slave to your subordinates?

Are you a slave to your subordinates? If not, why not? The primary role of the manager is to enable the value creation abilities of their subordinates or team, then the role of the manager is, in part, one of servitude to your subordinates. In my customer-centered view, a manager’s subordinates can be viewed as his or her clients. And just as any client they need to be well serviced. The managers must keep close communications with them to make sure they are being well served. As a result, feedback is important.

It is important to note that requesting feedback often has negative effects, because it is typically handled improperly. If feedback is requested, the resulting feedback needs to be acknowledged. If the client takes the time to give feedback they deserve an acknowledgement. They further need to be told what happened to their feedback. This means, whether or not, the feedback results in changes, the clients should be told the results. If the feedback was not used, it can be handled simply as a brief statement thanking them and stating that their suggestion could not be implemented at this time. The worse thing is when the client believes that his or her feedback was not of concern or not taken seriously.

A manager should be partially evaluated based on how well he or she serves their subordinates in their task to create value for the firm and customers. This will help reinforce the managerial culture of service. This is virtually the opposite of what is found in most businesses today. In those firms managers expect subordinates to serve them. But again the successful client is not concerned with what most firms do, because what other firms do is usually wrong.

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