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The Chameleon Effect
By Ray Silverstein

How do you maximize company performance? How do you get your key players and potential stars to perform at the level of their capabilities?

In most small businesses, people make the difference. The employee team and their willingness to utilize their skills are the key factors in differentiating your company from its competition.

Many managers like to manage everybody in a similar style. The question is often asked, "What is our managing style?" The answer is that you have to manage according to the style and personality of your employees. The tone is set from the top and the boss has to fine tune the necessary managing adjustments. This may seem contrary since many employers still believe "they are working for me and I am the one giving them their paychecks, so they should be like me."

In truth, to get maximum performance, you must use the "chameleon effect" and change your style to suit each person. Richard Farson, writing in Management of the Absurd, Paradoxes in Leadership, states, "Leadership is situational, less a personal quality than specific to a situation. True leaders are defined by the groups they are serving, and they understand the job as being interdependent with the group."

Look for and appreciate each person's differences. Determine the style of each person who reports to you and access their wants and needs. Recognize that some people need handholding and close attention and others need freedom to do their job. The hardest part is to identify individual needs, personality, and differences and change your approach for each person and situation.

Many companies will obtain a personality profile of each employee. This profile will give a good indication of what they are really like. This profile or a discussion with the firm who administered the test, will also be helpful to determine the management style that is likely to work.

Remember that it is easier for you to change than your employee and you will have more success if you recognize and understand that fact. In sales, you want to understand your customers' needs and satisfy them.why can't you follow this course with your employees, too?



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