Magazine article Business Credit

Lead before Managing - the Team Concept Approach

Magazine article Business Credit

Lead before Managing - the Team Concept Approach

Article excerpt

"Traditional" versus "self-directed" managerial approach is an issue credit professionals must address as we move forward into the '90s and beyond. We can either stagnate with our traditional managerial style or we can change with the wave of the future to leadership management through the self-directed team concept. We must be leaders as well as managers.

The traditional management approach relates to a specific style, while the self-directed team approach combines both leadership and management, which is the avenue we must be following in the future.

Leadership could be defined as an art, yet it is learned over time and experience. We, as managers, must abandon ourselves to the strength of others (team concept). As leaders, we must supply the vision or ideas which can become realities. These realities then become measurable, or goals, for our followers. Ask this question: Are our followers reaching their full potential? Are they continually learning? Are they achieving the required managed results? We must be clear about our ideas and goals, yet convey self-confidence in the management of our team in order to encourage them to express their ideas and opinions--whether agreeable or contrary.

Further, as managers, there must be accountability for our actions. We must show dignity and respect while we impart value and cooperation. Leaders instill the idea that work is a privilege which can be rewarding, meaningful, enriching, and fulfilling.

Analyze Your Corporate Environment

Before implementing a self-directed team management concept approach within your organization, you need to do an analysis of your corporate environment to determine if the conditions and circumstances are right. Analyze your company's culture and history. How long has it been in business? What are trends in the industry? Is it a leader or follower within the industry?

Does your company believe in "participative management" (cutting workers in on financial gain for ideas)? Is there a commitment to training, a willingness on the part of upper management to share information? Is there inherent trust within your organization? What is your company vision?


To ensure success when implementing a self-directed work team for your credit or collection department, the following three elements should be in place:

1. Top level commitment. Full support of top-level hierarchy is necessary to see that needed resources are available--especially through the early stages of transition.

2. Management-employee trust. Front-line managers/supervisors must fully participate so that trust in the management-employee relationship can be developed, risks taken, and opinions thrive. …

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