Different people have different styles of management, most (certainly in the marquee industry) fall in to one of two categories: Leading by example or leading by delegation.
Some will be proficient in both but most people naturally use one or the other and it is well worth learning both how your own management style works and those you work with to prevent conflict.
Leading by example:
In a small group this is a good way of getting the job done. The person in charge sets the pace and does the work and everyone else is there as an assistant. This is how most people in small businesses work, if you’ve ever worked with a self-employed electrician, plumber or similar this is their only way of working.
- With a small group of people this is often the fastest way of getting the job done
- The quality of the work will always be high, after all it is the best person/most qualified that would be doing all of the work
- Everyone has to work at the same pace as the leader which prevents people dragging their heels
- This does place a lot of work/pressure on the leader who becomes irreplaceable
- It’s difficult to scale up – a person can only work with so many assistants
Leading by delegation:
This is ideal for larger groups where tasks are delegated to different people. This is obviously how larger businesses work
- The only way of working with large numbers of people
- The quality of work can be more varied as you are relying on different peoples finishes
- You can have different speeds of work which can breed resentment if one team is significantly slower than another
In my experience small groups are the most efficient way of working, within this small group should be a leader who leads by example (as above) otherwise it all becomes a bit aimless and drags on. The leader is the one who will set the pace, get the job done and maintain the standard.
On larger sites where you need more people the leader needs to be able to split the people and tasks in to smaller groups so they need to lead by delegation and have a leader by example in each smaller group.
Once the frame of a marquee is up you can split people up accordingly – some do the flooring, some do electrics, some could start another marquee if required. It is simply not efficient to have everyone doing the same job, if you have enough potential leaders working in 2’s and 3’s is by far the most effective and efficient way of working on site.
It is never a healthy thing having only one person capable of doing a certain job. If you run a small business and always work in a small group take the time to train those working with you as you work. It means your business will be easier to scale up (your assistant becomes a new leader) and less pressure on your shoulders.