The role of Executives as Facilitator

Remedios Torrijos. Professor. Instituto de Empresa

22 February 2006

This article focuses on the changing roles of management within companies of the 21st century. It explains that for companies to achieve their goals, management needs to create an atmosphere that fosters teamwork, motivation and an attitude of self reliance.

Political, economic, social and cultural trends condition the roles and priorities of the executive class as it tries to lead the corporate world to success. Today, the role of an executive is evolving, from the control and organization of tasks, to the formation of a team capable of achieving results. This shift requires greater involvement and commitment from all the team members, thus transforming the role of management to one of facilitator. To manage the increasingly competitive and rapidly changing environment of today’s business world, the executive must be able to motivate his team and fire up its members. Bringing out the best in each one enables them all to grow and develop through their work. But how is this achieved?

Think of a person in your personal or professional life who has had a particularly positive influence on you. What was the specific situation? What did that person do exactly to influence you? Undoubtedly, he or she supported you, enabling you to grow and to formulate your own reactions, strategies and opinions with regards to a specific situation. Similarly, the executive helps make the best of opportunities while identifying and appropriately dealing with the limitations imposed by the circumstances. This is done in two ways:

a) By focusing on behaviour. He/she helps people deal with or improve their reactions. He/she encourages the members of his/her team to modify their behaviour in accordance with the surroundings. Learning is simply discovering that something is possible. If we are able to size up the situation we can react accordingly. It is like driving a car. How you drive depends on the situation. You drive differently at night, in traffic or when you are tired. In other words we compensate for circumstances.

b) But remember; we do something only when we feel capable of doing it. The main goal of the executive is to help people gain a clearer idea of themselves (to breathe in and release their latent energy). Whether we consider a situation to be a threat or to be an opportunity depends fundamentally on how we assess the whole picture and if we consider our resources sufficient for dealing with the unexpected. The chances for success are not the same if we face a situation filled with confidence or filled with fear. In the first case, our attention focuses on the goal, whereas in the second, it focuses on the obstacles. Obviously, what we focus on becomes more real for us. If we concentrate on the hurdles, the possibilities of "tripping up and falling behind" will be much greater. In sport, this is very clear, so why not in the world of business? When human awareness is taken to a different plane, the observations made are usually surprising, so much so that you wonder why you never before realized something so obvious. What we think we are capable of doing is decisive for our evolution and for company growth.


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