Leading and managing people requires trust. Trust allows for space for employees to be vulnerable and open about their work and experiences, and to contribute to the team and business. Managers want to be able to trust that their employees will do the right things at the right time. This is an important requirement for businesses to operate successfully.
Managers might discuss loyalty in terms of loyalty to the company but what they really need and want is loyalty to them personally and as a manager. Managers know that they are only as good as their team. A team that is loyal to the manager and to those around them tends to lead to stronger outcomes than that of a team comprised of people loyal to just the “company”.
Whether it’s benevolent or malevolent, a manager needs to maintain control of their business, which includes their people. Some managers talk in terms of being “hands-on” or “hands-off” but this only relates to their management style and is unrelated to the fact that regardless of their style, they do want control. Benevolent managers inspire loyalty and build chemistry that functions better than control. The other end of the spectrum is when a manager wields emotional blackmail as a weapon and drives behavior through fear, guilt, and obligation.
For Game of Thrones fans, managers love to have as many “hands of the king” within the company and out in the marketplace sharing a consistent message and representing the company and their boss in a positive light.
Managers want to be liked (especially when they act like they don’t). Everyone has some level of need to be accepted, and on the same note, not to be rejected. Because of this, managers tend to like employees who agree with them or mirror their business or personal philosophies.
Eli Howayeck (MBA, Kellogg School of Management), Founder and CEO of Crafted Career Concepts, is passionate about helping motivated people achieve their career, educational, or personal goals and helping businesses, large and small, overcome a variety of challenges facing their business.