What are the barriers to doing this?
Most individuals who are in leadership positions work very hard. Often leaders are promoted into their position as recognition for the work they have produced. Leaders are human, and humans have varying needs to feel valued and recognized for their efforts. This need can get in the way of developing trustworthy leadership if the leader places more value on fulfilling their own need to be recognized above those they serve.
Why is it important to do anyway?
To lead a successful shift, department or organization, a leader has to rely on the individual efforts of their team. Trustworthy leaders realize that they have to ditch the illusion that they have to control every aspect of the work because of their own need for glory. A trustworthy leader encourages each team member to perform to their capacity and recognizes the team for their results. High-performing employees want to be trusted to contribute in their own way and have their leader acknowledge (whether privately or publicly) their contribution.
How can you do it?
- Give the credit away and take the blame. Imitation is said to be the highest form of flattery…but very few things are more demotivating to a high-performing employee than to have your idea or effort repackaged as your leader’s idea. Successful leaders are those who are willing to share credit as much as possible, who give away as much as they can, and who promote an environment of creative cooperation. On the other hand when those you serve fail…take the heat and the blame. You want to block for your team so that they know you support them as they try new processes. Failure to perform is always our fault in leadership…whether the root is failed communication, training, accountability or systems.
- Choose abundance. Abundance means that there is enough for everybody. There is always enough “stage” for your team. Be willing to recognize your employees for what they have individually contributed to the result. Genuinely thank them for the work they contributed during the shift. Point out the extra efforts they made toward your customers. I can think of no person who would admit to ever being thanked “too much”. Abundance is an attractor and generator of even more. Share the stage so you can encourage repeated, positive behavior.
- Model working at the “top of your license”. Trustworthy leaders realize their primary job is not figuring out what they can get done to cross off their own to-do list, but rather how many people they can help get things crossed of their to-do lists. It’s about making sure everyone on the team is performing to their fullest capacities…at the top of their “license”.
Can you share an example of the positive impact on you (or a member of your team) when a “stage” was shared?
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