I’m not one to typically make political commentary but I couldn’t help but notice the contrast between these twospeeches. I will let the words of two very different presidents speak for themselves (with just a bit of emphasis added).
After you read the two openers, think about what your management style is and read my final comment.
George W. Bush speech after capture of Saddam Hussein:
“The success of yesterday’s mission is a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq . The operation was based on the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator’s footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision bya brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers in the hunt for members of the fallen regime, and in their effort to bring hope and freedom to the Iraqi people. Their work continues, and so do the risks. Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate them. “
Barack Obama speech after the death of Osama Bin Laden:
“And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network. Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.”
What does this have to do with management style? Throughout my 36 year career, most of it spent managing in some capacity, my style changed, evolved, matured. In the beginning I believed the team I was managing was there for me – to offload my work, help me, make me look good (or bad). I became a much better manager when I realized instead, that instead of them being there for me, I was there for them – to help guide and develop them. Yes I took responsibility for my own decisions and actions, but the accomplishments were clearly not “mine” but those of the individuals I managed. Big difference.
In a very political environment, this might not get you the most and best recognition or the fastest promotion. But as people that report to you develop and grow, it will lead to maximum gratification and satisfaction.