What we refer to as ‘modern management’ was established in the early years of the 20th century and has remained largely unchanged for the last 100 years. Management as a technology has largely, apart from isolated pockets, stopped evolving, particularly in its practical application. It is time to reinvent management; to challenge the basic beliefs and assumptions on which ‘modern management’ is based. This is what the Care and Growth Leadership Model does.
We offer an alternative approach to the leadership of people in organisations, known as the ‘Care and Growth Model’, which originated from research done under the auspices of the South African Chamber of Mines Research Organisation, concerned with management and employee conflict in the South African mining Industry during the late 1980s. This initial research demonstrated unequivocally that the basis for managers being accepted or rejected; trust being granted or withheld by employees; leadership being seen to be worthy of support or not; is simply the strength of their perceived interests in the wellbeing of their employees.
These findings later informed a framework which was developed in order to understand the leadership conditions under which management is trusted by those in its charge. This framework has consistently revealed that although there will always be pro-establishment and an anti-establishment group in any organisation, the size of the positive group is directly determined by the employee’s perception of the leadership’s intent or deeper motive. In other words, what drives leadership, what motives leaders when they come to work and ask people to do things?
Employees work willingly for leaders that are there to give to, or serve their employees. They are driven by a benevolent interest in their people. This benevolent intent, is not concerned with the giving of things, but rather the giving of the self. First, this essentially requires, that those in authority have a genuine concern for those in their charge (as human beings not human resources) and then that they enable their people to realise the best in themselves.
The right to demand of your employees is thus earned, not by paying a wage, but rather by subscribing to these criteria of care and growth. Contrary to the common view of leadership being, to get the work done and achieve results through people, in this approach leadership is viewed as, using the work and results thereof, to cultivate exceptional people.