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What kind of a manager are you?

You could say that management is an art.

Like any art form, it has different styles and techniques. It is important to understand these and most of all, to understand yourself as a manager BEFORE you start using your tools.

We have all been subjected to different types of managers. Perhaps we have gone through various phases of management styles ourselves. The way we deal with our environment has a lot to do with how we perceive it.

Let us say you are in your kitchen and need a pot for cooking. You’re happy, looking forward to preparing a good meal. You pull on the drawer and it is stuck. You give it a good tug and it doesn’t respond. At this point you use both hands and it still doesn’t open. You put your foot on the counter and yank with both hands and that drawer still doesn’t give! You head to the garage to get your crowbar… You are not happy and the thought of cooking that great meal has given way to just wanting to unstick that drawer… Or you decide that you don’t really want to cook, and order take out! What happened?

You put effort into something and met resistance. You output more effort, and this is met with more resistance. Things escalate from there…

You can say, “But Phil, instead of putting more efforts, why don’t you find out what is creating that resistance and deal with THAT?” Ah! Words of wisdom!

Unfortunately, I have seen too many executives and business owners reaching for “the crowbar instead of finding out what is blocking the drawer.”

And here is the difference between the theory X and Y management styles.

Psychologist, Douglas McGregor, wrote in his book The Human Side of Enterprise, in 1960 (McGraw-Hill, 1960) about two concepts known as Theory X and Theory Y. These theories outline the two basic approaches managers take in viewing their employees.

Theory X managers: They are autocratic (tend to dominate or rule with absolute power) administrators, responsible for overseeing all parts of production, people, and profitability. A theory X manager would tend to not be trusting their employee, side check a lot what they are doing, police, micromanage and tightly monitor what they are doing.

Theory Y managers: They are participative leaders, responsible for overseeing all parts of production, people, and profitability. Theory Y managers view their employees as willing participants in achieving business success, so the manager coaches and cheerleads employees by aligning them with the strategy of the organization.

We all want to be theory Y managers. But, you might have the feeling that you are forced into a theory X management style because the resistance you are getting from your staff.

You need to realize that theories X and Y are two ends of a spectrum. This is a case of black and white with many shades of grey in between.

Which one of the management styles are you tending toward?

Take this short questionnaire to help you determine your tendency as a

manager and leader. Knowing this opens the door to a better application of your management tools.

Or if you have done the quizz already, I invite you to schedule a FREE Business Structure Integrity Analysis here: FREE BUSINESS ANALYSIS | Results & Productivity Management Consulting (



Cell: 416-559-9063

Office: (519) 622-3055

46 Anglerock Dr, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada L1T 1L8 

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