X Management Theory
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Over the past few years, there has been an explosion of interest in what is now referred to as “X-Management” or sometimes even just “management theory.” This field looks at how leadership works and learns from successful leaders to help you become a leader yourself.
One area that has drawn a lot of attention is what we refer to as the “Leader Character” trait. Simply put, this is someone who goes above and beyond for others. They show genuine concern and care about those around them, and they expect the same level of commitment and effort from those under their command.
While most people have heard of this trait before, very little information exists about it. That’s why we decided to write down all the things you need to know about the Leader Character trait!
So, let’s dive in by learning more about the three traits making up the Leader Character framework. Then, we will talk about some applications of these concepts in your career and life.
The politics of X management
Over the past few decades, there have been many theories about why some people are more motivating than others to work with or for. These theories all focus on what makes someone motivated in their career, how to increase that motivation, and what is involved in giving your colleagues and superiors notice they should be engaged with and inspired by.
The most well-known theory around this topic is known as ‘X’ management. This was first described in detail in two Harvard Business School studies done back in 1989 and 1991, which called it that. Since then, it has become one of the most widely discussed leadership concepts in the field.
Some refer to X managers as ‘inspirational leaders’, but this term can sometimes be misunderstood. It sounds like these individuals make you feel good about yourself by telling you off, or putting you through tough times. That isn’t the case at all!
What makes an inspirational leader not only important to have in your team, but also essential to having successful leadership projects depends mostly on who the leader is, not what they say. More often than not, people who get promoted under a leader like this are those who agree with the leader’s philosophy and vision, and therefore support them.
The power of intention
Recent developments in leadership theory focus on what you intend to do, not just how you are going to get people to like you or work for you.
This is an important distinction because most leadership theories emphasize that being liked by others is a side effect of your leadership, not the leading force behind your success.
Being lovable is nice, but it’s not necessarily a good thing. Being loved creates a sense of obligation that can easily turn into burn-out.
And while it’s true that people who like you are more likely to succeed under you, they may also be creating a perception of inevitability about your status, which can create internal stress.
The balance of power
In any relationship, there is an ever changing balance of power. Who has what power over who changes from moment to moment. This can be determined by many things: how much money each person has, whether or not they are in a good mood, etc.
When one party has more power than another, it creates an environment where that bigger group feels pressured into keeping up with the demands of the smaller group. A classic example of this happens when someone gets paid less than their colleagues even though they work just as hard.
In leadership settings, this applies to higher level executives who feel powerless compared to those lower on the ladder. They may get passed over for raises and promotions because others have access to resources such as equipment, funds, and people.
X theory suggests that these pressures create stress and discontent which only end up hurting both parties.
The need for consistency
Consistency is one of the most important qualities in being successful as a leader. As leaders, we are constantly trying to inspire our team members to do their best work, but sometimes they need some help finding that motivation.
That’s where leadership theories come into play. A theory about leadership is an explanation or description of what makes someone effective at leading others. These theories explain why certain behaviors always result in good leadership and how different personality traits fit with leadership roles.
Research shows that when people who work under you feel like they can trust you, it helps them perform their job more effectively. When they know that you don’t believe in unfair practices and abuses, they’ll be much more willing to speak up and say “no” when something doesn’t seem right.
So how does this connect to management?
Well, just as with individuals, groups require consistent leadership if they are going to produce quality results.
The importance of culture
Culture is an integral part of how successful an organization is. It’s not just what you say to each other, it’s how you say it, where you say it, and for how long you say it.
The way that people are treated in your workplace makes a big difference in how motivated they will be. If someone else with the same job as you gets good performance rewards while you get little to no reward, then employees will begin to feel unappreciated and discouraged.
This can create silence and resentment which slow down productivity and efficiency. When this happens over enough time, things come crashing down-and that isn’t a pretty scene to watch.
Culture is everything! Make sure that everyone knows that they are appreciated and rewarded for their work, and chances are great that others will keep doing their jobs well.
The need for structure
How we manage our relationships, work, hobbies, and other parts of our lives is influenced by how we handle stress.
A lot of people believe that if you’re not feeling stressed out at the moment then things are going well in your life.
But this isn’t true!
If you look around you today, everything from business deals to friendships to marriages have been destroyed due to a lack of control or management of your emotions.
So, whether you're a parent trying to teach your kids lessons, a colleague who can't get along with his/her boss, or just someone who wants to enjoy their personal time, taking care of yourself emotionally is important.
Here are some theories about what makes up part of the term ‘management theory’, and why it’s essential to having a healthy mind and body- no matter what kind of person you are.
The need for freedom
As human beings, we require some degree of autonomy or independence to feel comfortable. We want to be able to set our own goals, believe in things that are not necessarily financially motivated, and strive to better ourselves by setting standards that are worthy of respect.
In other words, we desire self-development. We wish to grow and learn from experiences both good and bad. This is why most people (even if they don’t realize it) want to keep their jobs – even though paying attention to what goes into your food and how much you earn may be limiting at times.
You can’t develop as an individual when you’re working under someone else’s direction. You are being directed towards achieving a goal that isn’t yours and encouraging conformity with those around you who have the same job as you.
This isn’t to say that there is no place for having a boss – but only if you agree with his/her priorities and mission and you are aware of and accept these.
The future of X management
Over the past few decades, there have been many theories about what makes someone succeed in their career or life. These theories are often labeled as “theories” because they seem simple and straightforward, but research has shown that they really work!
Many experts now agree that one of the most important traits for success is called “X-ism.” This trait was coined by psychologist Peter Vella back in the 1990s.
He referred to this as the “success potential” or “potential for success” personality characteristic.
Dr. Vella described it like this:
"An individual with an abundance of x-isms in his/her area of expertise is likely to be successful."
In other words, people who enjoy working hard and being productive in their field also tend to succeed more quickly than those who don't.
This theory seems logical, so most professionals agree that it has some degree of validity.