"When all think alike, then no one is thinking." Walter Lippman. What are your answers to the following questions? On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is 'not at all' and 10 is 'completely':
- How much do you trust your staff?
- To what extent do you delegate something to a member of your team and then LEAVE THEM TO IT?
- To what extent do you delegate tasks that do not HAVE to be done by you?
- How much do you encourage your staff to 'act up' as opposed to 'acting down'?
- To what degree do you welcome and relish new ideas from your staff?
- How much do you give and encourage responsibility and ownership?
- To what extent do you make it possible for your staff to think, act and work in a different manner to yourself?
Do you have answers of 7 or below? How many? If your answers are low it would be worth asking yourself:
- How happy are my staff?
- How loyal are my staff?
If you did not answer with all 8s and above you may want to consider how you could make some changes to your leadership style. In my experience of coaching and training leaders, staff who are not trusted or given responsibility and who feel as if someone is constantly looking over their shoulder, are staff who are thinking of leaving!
In the current climate where you may be tightening your belts and may even have had to make some redundancies, it is essential that you can hang on to staff in whom you have invested time and money and who can make a difference to your business given half a chance.
Re-visit each of the above questions and ask:
- What could I do to increase my answer to this question by 1?
- What else could I do?
- What else?
- What am I going to commit to doing to increase my answer to this question by 1?
- When am I going to do it?
When you have improved your score by 1, repeat the exercise until you can answer all the questions with a score of 8 or above. If you are struggling with this, what's more important? You holding on to everything, keeping tight control and making all the decisions?
You creating happy, loyal staff who will move mountains for you, whilst simultaneously freeing up huge amounts of your own time allowing you to 'act up' and vastly improve your own work life balance? And forgetting the current climate, the person who can create an organisational culture or atmosphere in which staff feel empowered, trusted, promotable, happy and loyal has got it right.
That's a great leader!