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Gung Ho : The Way of The Beaver
Self Excellence » Personal Development

Chrm Message From: mark Total Posts: 47 Join Date: 14/08/2006
Rank: Executive Post Date: 20/03/2007 10:15:08 Points: 235 Location: United States

Dear Friends, 

We learnt about the spirit of the squirrel, today let me tell you about the way of the beaver.

In part one we( managers) realized how to get united and set common goals. By setting the goals and values we define the playing field and the rule of the game. Then we must get off the field and let the players(team mates/ employees) move the ball. The players must know that as long as they follow the rules, they can go anywhere within the lines. If you want people to take charge, they have to be free to do it.

Have you ever noticed the Beavers repairing dams after a heavy shower? They seem to possess unending drive and energy. From where does that come? Who is in charge there? Who tells each beaver what to do next and how to do it? The way of the beaver is the way of being in control of achieving the goal.

Nothing kills GUNG HO faster than narrow minded and likely mean spirited management , chipping away at the workers’ self esteem by insisting things be done the Bosses’ Way! The worker’s way cud b far better because they are doing it day in and day out!.

Do you fear that the people will create a mess by each following his own way? That can’t be because human beings r not beavers. They have thumbs, language and we naturally work together to achieve our goals. Moreover with the spirit of the squirrel, we have already established well understood and shared goals.

Real secret of successful management lies in discovering what people do naturally and then organizing our processes around it. Too many of us go at it the other way around.

But this is not easy. It takes a huge self esteem to be a boss without being bossy! It is equally tough for the team members because they are used to being told what to do. We must nevertheless bring about this change in order to give people meaningful work. Spirit of the squirrel addresses God’s plan for the forest .Way of the Beaver fulfills God’s plan for the beaver, i.e., defines the relationship of the individual with the organization and vice versa.

First the individual takes charge and gets in control of achieving the goal. Secondly, the organization allows and encourages individuals to do so. What one does , doesn’t get ripped apart. There are no secrets. All have access to what’s available to get the job done and that includes full, accurate and up to date information on everything. This avoids Not-Invented-Here Syndrome from occurring in the organization, and cross functional teams work smoothly. When this happens, each team member’s thoughts, feelings , needs and dreams are respected, listened to and acted upon.

It is very important to respect the individuals as persons. It also important to keep in mind that beavers are able to do only what they know. We cant expect people to deliver beyond their capacity or skills. Ex: some companies expect 10 hours of output for 8 hours of time and pay!!

Sometimes the problem is very different in nature. Managers undershoot and give easy targets to employees believing that this will make them happy as all men are glad to goof up!! But this seems only on surface. Deep Down it is different. Nothing drains away self esteem faster than knowing you are ripping off the system. People are proud to be tax payers, to be contributors. It is demeaning to get something for nothing!!

Therefore asking people to do what they are able to do easily won’t give them the feeling of accomplishment. We need to stretch them. Give them work that demands their best and allows them to learn and move ahead into uncharted territory.

Thus the manger’s role in today’s world is more of a leader. It consists of the following duties:

1. Make sure that the entire team shares the goal.
2. Help set values.
3. Get the resources in place.
4. Hold the rule makers in check.
5. Ensure that we have the support we need both inside and outside the organization.
6. Keeping our eyes on future to ward off trouble.
7. Be ready to change direction.

Summary of “The Way of The Beaver”

In control of achieving the goal

1. A playing field with clearly marked territory.
2. Thoughts, feelings, needs and dreams are respected , listened to and acted upon.
3. Able but Challenged.

Hope you liked it!


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