The balance between pace and being nice is a really tricky one.
This starts before you even hire your team.
Know what your business culture and work ethic is, and then hire people who match that ethic.
Technical skills application, product knowledge, operational steps: most of this can be taught on the job. Sharing your company's priorities can not.
Once you have hired people who will fit with your culture, the rest becomes easier.
Be clear form the start on how people will be assessed. Tell them how they, in their roles, can bring value to the company and the give continuous feedback, especially in the first 6-12 months.
Also build a strong on-boarding plan (if you have employees already but never did an official on-boarding, you can start now an call it training instead). Train your team on:
- the client base
- the problem you are solving
- solutions to the problem
- why your solution is the best
- your product
- your team
- your growth expectations.
Doing all of this you will be developing partner relationships with your employees, making it easy to share both good and constructive feedback.
Hoshin Kanri is a tool that allows you to drive a management style that is inclusive and yet focused on results. Hoshin Kanri enables you to assess and align mission with strategies, objectives, goals and actions. There are four phases of Hoshin Kanri Mission Vs Strategies, Strategies Vs Objectives, Objectives Vs Goals and Goals Vs Actions.
You can use Hoshin Kanri for performance evaluation of the organization by aligning it with the performance of employees to keep everyone focused on meeting the organization's goals because Hoshin Kanri is not only a strategy deployment tool but something that creates a catch ball environment for linking top management with executive management and with employees and translates plans in to actions.
I will advise you to use Hoshin Kanri technique for following an inclusive management style with focus on results. It will allow you to get everyone, from top management to employees, on board and to set strategic goals and actions with consensus and to hold everyone responsible for their actions and responsibilities within the organization.
You can adopt this practice to set your goals and track the progress of your organization with regard to goals and strategies on monthly, quarterly or annual basis.
You should keep in mind that people perform best when they have a purpose. When they understand not just what to do but why it’s important. One of the benefits of Hoshin Kanri is that it can help to create that purpose; providing focus and drive towards specific and important goals.
So, it’s worth putting some effort into creating a shared vision of the strategic plan and associated tactics. Make sure as many employees as possible are given an opportunity to understand why the strategic goals are important and how the tactics and operational details support those goals.
Setting extremely clear expectations is the first place to start. Understand where you're headed and what your goals are so you can back into the expectations or more importantly, the behaviors that align with your desired outcomes. Accountability and two-way communication are the tactics to stay focused on the results.
The interesting part of your question is not about the focus on results, but on having an inclusive management style.
Sometimes better decisions come from soliciting the input of others. Sometimes not. Almost always, though, people appreciate being part of the decision process and will be more supportive of a decisions that included their input.
As a small shop, you'll find it easy to be informal and share information and solicit the opinions of others. As you scale to a larger-sized organization, you will have to be much more selective in who you talk to and the amount of information that you or they can assimilate.
Answer these questions for yourself: What are the advantages and disadvantages of inclusiveness? How much time are you willing to sacrifice to have inclusiveness? How will you deal with people who want to be included, but have little value to add to strategic discussions? Will you need to have 100% buy-in before you commit to a course of action?
What's been shared already is awesome advice. Here's my add.
The easiest way to achieve your goals is through using the Mission Command principles.
Build cohesive teams through mutual trust.
Create a shared understanding.
Offer clear intent.
Support a disciplined initiative.
Use mission orders.
Accept prudent risk.
Ultimately, 'control' lends towards micromanagement. Although the style is frowned upon in modern leadership, it has its uses. I won't get into those here.
With Mission Command, you're providing guidance so that your team can run with it. You're setting the goal and giving them everything they need to accomplish the mission however they deem fit.
With mutual trust, you know they'll operate within the left and right limits you set.
A shared understanding ensures everyone, down to the lowest level, knows what the company's and their purpose is.
Offering a clear intent means there's no confusion over the goals.
Enabling a disciplined initiative means they'll take charge of situations, acting in everyone's best interest.
Mission orders opens doors for creativity as opposed to task orders. It means you're not spelling out every little detail. Rather, you can explain when you need something to happen in a particular way and if you don't need to, then you can let them have at it.
Accepting prudent risk is vital for growing your business. It requires assessment, mitigation, and action, but enables you to seize opportunities.
Along with these, there are systems that can be emplaced in order to improve efficiency with the process.
This feels like an info dump, but I hope it gave you enough to generate some ideas.
I heard a fantastic illustration at a Masterclass I attended virtually, hosted by Eleanor Beaton that fits this to a T. She explained broad focus versus narrow focus using basketball. The point guard has to have broad and narrow focus. When he or she brings the ball down the court, they have to see the broad picture. That broad picture helps him to see where everyone is and to decide whether to pass the ball or create a play himself. That requires a narrowing of the focus. He can't see the hand that's up from his team mate asking him to pass them the ball if his focus is broad.
Are point guards born that way? No, it's a skill he or she develops. In the same way, a manager has to be able to move between broad and narrow focus aka inclusive yet focused. It takes effort to develop that skill.
My personal experience has been that the people who you manage don't expect you to be "nice." They do expect you to be fair. What makes them feel comfortable in your management style is the leadership you show. Can they trust your instincts? Have you invested enough in getting to know them individually such that they feel they can trust you even if they don't agree with you? Do you leverage their strengths in a way that makes them feel that their contribution matters? In essence, I discovered that problems with the people I was leading was more about me than it was about them.
Please feel free to contact me to discuss further. I've been managing people since I was 10 years old and even at a young age, older people respected me even then. You see, I was the choir director and musician of my first choir at that age and oftentimes these were people who were old enough to be my parents and grandparents. I learned skills then that I have served me well in leading others.
This is really about enhancing Leadership team capabilities and creating the right organization culture to make it happen.
Let me begin by saying: The center of Leadership is about "influence"... and the center of influence is about "relationship".
It goes back to the relationship of Leadership team with employees at all levels in the organization which will motivate and inspire employees to "always do their best for the organization, even when no one is watching". To do that, you need to give them a BIG WHY that is really relevant to them.
The pace will be much better once, they feel motivated and empowered.