Are You a Mushroom Manager?

Are You a Mushroom Manager?

Tell me how you would rate this statement… “As a business leader, I believe that I should make all of the decisions for my business. I don’t need any help or to explain afterwards.”

Pick one: Always, Sometimes, Never

No matter which answer you chose, there is room to improve in quality and consistency of your management. All of the options require a lot of work to be successful, but the more operationally mature businesses will develop their team by including them.  See below for some do’s and don’ts.

Always: Yikes- You might be a Mushroom Manager. You’re right that ultimately you are accountable for the success of your business. But if you think you don’t need to explain, then you are underestimating the value of communication. I know you are super competent and capable, but the task of making informed decisions and then managing the change company wide will be harder and take longer when you do it by yourself  especially when there are unexpected bumps in the road. Do you really have time for that? Even the best of plans get off track. Involving a few key team members will go a long way toward navigating the ups and downs of change.

Sometimes: Yay!  You usually remember that you have blind spots and that you make better decisions when your team helps.  Maybe you can’t loop everyone into the process every time. The problem being solved may require specific skills, or it may be too unwieldy with a big group of people, or maybe the topic is just too sensitive to share before a plan is made. Frequently you bring in a small select team that can represent the rest of your team and your customers because you know how invaluable their perspective will be. What is keeping you from doing it every time?

Never: Great work! You see how important it is to involve the right parts of your team to make the best decisions.  And you are happy to explain your decision, the reasoning behind it, plus how you plan to accomplish it.  You value and care for your relationships with your team so you don’t forget to include the impact of the changes. You also share what is at stake if you don’t change or even worse don’t make the change stick. You are an all star! You know trust, respect and commitment soar when you include your team.

Bottom line: Don’t treat your team like mushrooms. Keeping them in the dark, and dumping crap on them won’t help them grow. Mushroom management will hurt your company more because the best on your team won’t stand for it. They will move on quickly leaving you neck deep in the you-know-what!