IF YOU are a senior executive in an organisation, I can hear you say, "What do you mean there are only two types of management?" Let me explain.

During my 35-year career of teaching sales, management and leadership skills all over the world, I have observed every type of organisation and its approach to leading or managing people.

I have discovered that there are generally only two approaches to running an organisation regardless of its business model and its many diverse challenges, opportunities, cultures and history.

They are pride-based management or what I often refer to as responsibility management, and shame-based management, which I refer to as accountability management.

What's the difference and how do these vastly different approaches to leading and managing people ultimately impact the success of the organisation?


This style or approach is driven by the need for senior management to have total control over every aspect of the organisation - from its sales strategies and their implementation to its pricing, new product development, hiring procedures, bonus programmes and everything in between.

This control is evidenced by a multitude of rules, policies, micro-management approaches, strict procedures or guidelines, incentives, quotas and a general lack of trust of employees and their willingness to work effectively without close supervision.

Here are two examples.

Company A was losing money due to the poor management style and bad decisions of its senior managers.

At a weekly management staff meeting, the conclusion was that to save revenue they would start charging employees 25 cents for coffee at the various coffee locations throughout the buildings.

When this decision was implemented, the organisation was doing in excess of 100 million dollars a year in revenue. In less than 12 months, they were doing less than 20 million.

Why? Punishing employees for the corporation's poor performance took its toll on individual productivity. The employees just stopped caring.

Company B was a 200-million-a-year organisation with a long and prosperous history.

To prevent mistakes and failures, the president decided to create a large bulletin board in the cafeteria called The Wall of Shame.

Every day, items were posted of the mistakes that were made by a variety of individuals. The focus was on what was wrong and the errors made rather than what was right and the good things the employees did.


There are many other words that have been used over the years to describe this management approach.

Jerry Bellhume in his book, Lead People and Manage Things, suggests that it shouldn't be that difficult a task to run a successful enterprise as long as you follow some pretty basic premises.

When you have a problem in your organisation, look up the ladder for the cause and down the ladder for the solution. Most organisations reverse this process. They look up the ladder for the solution and down the ladder for the cause.

If you have a problem in the organisation that you lead, you are either tolerating it, encouraging it or unaware of it. In any case, look in the mirror for the cause. And look to the people who will implement its solutions and your employees.

Here are some ideas on how to create and foster a pride-based management style.

1. If you don't trust your people, they won't trust you.

This needs no further clarification. If it does, you have bigger problems than you will ever be aware of.

2. Never give responsibility without authority.

When you give responsibility without the authority to use resources, make decisions or take a creative approach you are sending a clear message that you don't trust your employees to do anything the way you want it done.

3. You get the behaviour you reward.

If you don't like any behaviors you are getting from an employee, department or group, stop evaluating the behaviours and take a closer look at the direct or indirect reward systems that are in place that are encouraging repeated behaviours in this area.

4. Delegate outcomes, not methods.

When you delegate methods, you send a clear message that you want something done just the way you would do it. However, there might just be a better way, unless, of course, you are perfect.

5. The job of a manager is to create the right motivational climate.

You can't motivate anyone for the long term. You can use threats or fear, but the ultimate success of these depends on the employees' concern for the threat.

You can threaten to fire someone but if they don't care, it won't work. You can try and motivate with incentives but if the employee doesn't need or want what you are offering, it won't work either.

The key to successful employees and therefore a successful organisation, is to send a clear and consistent message that you value, trust, respect and care about your employees.

Make sure it is not just for the moment or as long as they achieve one of your short-term objectives.

Remember, you are responsible to people, not for them.