Managing "adults"

i am thinking of management this morning — the kind that unleashes Talent, the kind that a lot of us look for in our workplaces.

Kim Scott narrates a conversation in Radical Candor.  ”A colleague shared an anecdote about interviewing with Steve....My colleague asked Jobs several perfectly reasonably questions: “How do you envision building the team? How big will the team be?” Steve’s curt response: “Well, if I knew the answer to all those questions, then I wouldn’t need you, would I?” Borderline rude, but also empowering. Jobs articulated this approach more gently in an interview with Terry Gross: “At Apple we hire people to tell us what to do, not the other way around.” 

Ricardo Semler writes in The Seven-Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works”On-the-job democracy isn't just a lofty concept but a better, more profitable way to do things. We all demand democracy in every other aspect of our lives and culture. People are considered adults in their private lives, at the bank, at their children's schools, with family and among friends — so why are they suddenly treated like adolescents at work? Why can't workers be involved in choosing their own leaders? Why shouldn't they manage themselves? Why can't they speak up — challenge, question, share information openly?”

With Teams and ventures i have managed, i have found that this approach always works — and gets people to be happy about coming in on Monday mornings. The other, more common, approach has people always scouting for another job.