Successful leaders follow distinct management philosophies that made them what they are, and that have helped their organisations reach lofty heights.
We have listed five management philosophies shared by top business leaders for those who are looking to learn from the best.
1. Mary Barra — Winning Hearts and Minds Through Effective Communication
General Motors CEO Mary Barra discussed the importance of effective interaction with staff in a talk with Wharton’s Professor Adam Grant during a 2018 conference. In it, she explained that her management style emphasises fostering actual discussions with employees, sending out easy-to-understand messaging and leading by example, all while appealing to her people’s emotional and intellectual sides. Under Barra’s tenure, GM has set about redefining mobility with investments in advanced technologies like connectivity, electrification, autonomous driving and car sharing.
2. Sylvia Metayer — Create Value In the Workplace to Promote Employee Growth
With operations in 80 countries that serve 75 million consumers each day, Sodexo is a French food services and facilities management company. Their French-British-Canadian Chief Growth Officer Sylvia Metayer puts the welfare of employees at the forefront of her management style. Her philosophy allows for the growth of her employees by building a work environment where they can thrive, build meaningful relationships and feel valued. In this way, she fosters a workplace where everyone can work at their finest, be able to bring out their full potential and become major assets to their company.
3. John Seifert — Motivate Your People and Let Them Do Their Work
Ogilvy & Mather’s former CEO John Seifert offers an interesting take on hands-free management style. He did away with micromanagement by setting the company’s direction along with well-defined principles and then letting his staff do their work on their own. Faith in employees forms the core of his philosophy, as he told Forbes: “I’m a big believer in ‘defend your people to the death’ when you have to so that they feel secure in their own ability to challenge conventions.”
4. Satya Nadella — Drive Growth Through Clear, Tangible, and Motivating Message
Microsoft’s CEO does not act with any ambiguity when managing a company of over 150,000 employees. He understands the importance of having a clear vision in both leadership and management, and his philosophy rests on sending clear messages. He personally sends corporate emails to all his employees on a regular basis, sharing with them tangible and achievable ideas for the future of their company, encouraging feedback and providing much-needed inspiration.
5. Tim Cook — Everyone Gets the Opportunity to Contribute to the Company’s Growth
Apple may be Steve Jobs’ legacy, but it was Tim Cook’s job to lead the company in an era of stiff competition from other technology giants. He does so with a management style that gives every Apple employee a voice in all decision-making matters and keeps his mind open to all opinions and suggestions. While he considers all options on the table, he uses his people’s sentiments to convince them to follow his lead.
Sound management philosophy can do wonders for any organisation. When you have a good idea of how to make things work efficiently, you can drive your company towards growth. Learning from successful people is a great way to come up with a management style that can bring success to your business.