Today I was reminded of a seminar I once attended by the Colourworks, mainly because their blog talked about;
Engaging Managers can come from any possible colour combination
It always seems sad to me to think that managers have always previously been managed and therefore presumably thought about how they would like to have been managed better, yet seemingly fail to learn from that experience. As soon as promoted, they seem to believe that they’ve got to change, to adopt more of a stereotypical “manager” style, to wear the mask of authority. Whilst there may be good reasons for this belief – it is stereotypical after all and some organisations promote and reward a “redder” style of leadership (e.g. quick, decisive, controlling, capable of making hard decisions and whip the department/team into shape) – it is, of course, a huge mistake. Not used to behaving in this way, these managers struggle to use this Fiery Red energy in a mature and positive way and soon lose the trust of their people, whilst simultaneously suppressing their natural leadership talents.
One thing Colourworks does very well is work out quite quickly what colour leader you are and those of your colleagues. At the time I attended the seminar my colour was sunny yellow, with a mix of green and red and a bottom colour of blue. On reflection I can now see that I had fallen into the trap above. Despite being a successful leader because my top colour didn’t come out as red I struggled internally to believe it. Even though I recognised everyone else as being the right colour for them i.e. the data manager came out cool blue, whilst the head fiery red and the pastoral manager green, it took me a month or so to see that I was just as integral a part of the team as everyone else and we needed all of the strengths including mine. It did make me then think of team building and the need for Senior leadership teams to be made up of different characteristics if they are to be successful.
So my message from today’s blog with the help of Colourworks is – be yourself after all that is who they hired, not you pretending to be a cool blue or fiery red as in the end you will all be disappointed.
Have a quick look which do you think you are?