You've identified that your style of management isn't working, but how do you effectively make the change without hurting your organization?
When five local entrepreneurs purchased the Kansas City, Missouri-based Major League Soccer franchise for $15 million back in 2006 (then known as the Wizards), they came into a business that had been owned by the late Lamar Hunt as a secondary property behind his NFL team (the Kansas City Chiefs) and that didn't have much brand identity. The new owners, though, came in with little soccer knowledge but focused on building an innovative business and becoming a community staple. And in five short years, they've massively changed the organizational structure and are building a new model for sports franchise management.
"We have the utmost respect for Lamar Hunt and what he did for soccer in Kansas City," says Robb Heineman, one of the principal owners of the recently renamed Sporting Kansas City. "Without him, we wouldn't even be here. But we wanted to challenge the model. At the end of the day, the team on the field needs to be successful to succeed. But we hope that by building and managing a team on the business side that is winning from an innovation perspective, that translates to on-field success."
Assessing your organization's management style and determining its time for a change is not easy, though. If you're new, as the Sporting Kansas City owners were, they had a chance to redefine the way the business was run. But not all managers have that luxury and sometimes need to change styles in their existing role.
"If you begin to think your management style is backfiring, where you ultimately see it is in the disengagement of your staff," notes Jon Picoult, founder and principal of Watermark Consulting, a business advisory firm based in Simsbury, Connecticut. "As employees become disengaged, they become less interested in your success as a leader but more importantly in your company's overall success, which is what matters most."
But how can you successfully change your management style like the ownership group did at Sporting Kansas City? This guide will describe the five different management styles, how to recognize the type of style you employ and how to make that important organizational shift.
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