Learn how involving the team can make you the next star on Madison Avenue.
In the celebrated television series Mad Men, Don Draper’s character is the celebrated rain-maker, creative brains of the organization, and the silent aspiration of every associate who longs to be in the limelight. Deep inside of every manager is the desire to be the Don Draper or “shining star” of their organization. Despite his sometimes curt nature and brass tactics, Draper’s success as a manager is not only dependent on his ability to make decisive and intuitive decisions but also on the strength of the team he directs.
Many of the episodes showcase Draper’s meeting with his team which includes someone from various departments including creative, television, account management, and copy-write. Each of these team members will sink their teeth into a particular campaign bringing their own ideas and vision. They also bring the ability to foresee any potential issues that Draper would most likely overlook.
Managers typically feel they should be the one-stop for all decision making in their respective department; however, the most successful leaders depend on their teams to fully assess the impacts of their decisions. This is especially true when recruiting someone new to the team. As a manager, decisions are often considered using a “top of the house” foresight with little regard or knowledge to the implications on the organization’s products, processes, or clients. Team members bring such insight and knowledge, sometimes to the most intricate level, that hiring managers may not consider. One slight oversight of such a detail could result in disaster for any firm.
Another benefit of involving the team in decision making is team engagement and ownership. If a group of employees help to make a decision on a new team member, chances are they will have a higher level of ownership in the success of the hire which usually leads to higher team engagement. It would not take much effort to survey the business blogs to learn of the horrors of top-down decision making practices that have led to poor execution and public relations nightmares. Even for the toughest decisions, employees who have the ability to provide insight will feel a sense of ownership in the success of the team which can be the difference between success and failure.
Don Draper’s management style evolved with the series after he made some pretty significant blunders by not involving his team. He was still known his ability to make decisive decisions with the style that only he has, but those singular decisions become fewer and far between as the story progresses.
Bottom line: If you want to make a successful hire, trust and involve your team. You won’t regret the decision.