Promote Personal Ownership
One question I often ask existing and aspiring leaders and managers is about taking personal ownership, developing more responsibility and responding with ability in their organization. The question I ask them is 'On a daily basis, moment to moment, do your decisions, actions, and communications help your organization or do they hurt your organization?'
I don't know about you just now, but often that question is met with stunned silence across my audience. But often a period of quiet, self-reflection begins immediately afterwards because the intention of the question is to encourage leaders and managers to think about their decisions: how they think, how they communicate, how they collaborate, how they lead and engage other people, and indeed attract and retain customers.
Think about it from your perspective on a daily basis. Do you start the day thinking 'This is going to be a good day' or 'I'm going to focus on the few things that really matter in terms of helping myself, my team, my department, and my organization perform near or at its best', or do you simply drift through the day?
Have you ever said something to a colleague that you really would have liked to have taken back after you thought about it? Those are the kinds of things that hurt a relationship, not to avoid candid dialogue which can be really worthwhile, meaningful, and very productive. Open, honest dialogue can help a relationship grow stronger, but have you cut someone off mid-sentence? Have you interrupted someone just because you thought what you were about to say was far more interesting or valuable or relevant than what they were actually saying?
Have a think about your own performance, your own focus, and your own commitment to yourself, to your team, to your organization. Are you helping your organization on a daily basis develop more trust, more credibility, more efficiency, or are you hurting by really not thinking in advance, really not planning ahead, investing in up-front collaborative planning, and focusing on those few things that really matter?
I do appreciate that sometimes in the hectic environment that you may work in, things can just be juggle, juggle, juggle and hope that no plates come smashing down around you. That's not a way to help your organization. That's a way to hurt your organization. Please have a think each and every day first thing in the morning, around midday, and at the end of the day. Your question is 'Am I helping my organization today or am I hurting my organization today?' At lunch time, review how you progressed that morning by asking yourself 'Have I helped my organization today or have I hurt my organization so far today?'
At the end of each day ask yourself again. 'How have I done today? Have I helped or have I hurt?' You can't be in the middle on this one. You're either helping or hurting. There are a few things that really matter that will help you become more effective, more efficient, more productive, and an even more engaging manager and leader of people. Remember, there's no point of being the leader or manager if people don't want to follow you. When your team members follow you through obligation rather than through choice, you're not getting anywhere near optimal engagement or performance from them.
Have a think. Your actions, your reactions, your communication, your silo working or collaborative working. Do you actually help your organization or are you hurting it?
Posted by Scott Watson on December 1, 2015