A colleague asked if I felt I would ever work for a company again. I told him that I have very little interest in working “for” anybody, but I have always enjoyed working “with” others.

I don’t think I am alone.

When a person feels like they are working FOR someone there is an implied hierarchy. The leader knows what is best and will give direction. This is the typical command and control model.

When people feel like they are working WITH one another, the focus is on achieving a result together. There is more emphasis on the outcome and less on who happens to be the boss.

Having people work “for” a leader is only successful if:

  • The leader knows the right thing to do
  • People on the team can and will do what it asked of them
  • The people that can do the required tasks don’t leave

When people are working “with” their leader, the team can enjoy the benefits of direction while still avoiding the potential downsides of a command and control model (knowledge limitations of the leader, poor execution, and retention).

Do you want your team to feel like they are working with you or for you?

Take steps to encourage your team to feel like you are working together. Your results will improve and your job will likely be a lot easier.