Picture yourself on the phone. You’re in a delicate negotiation to build a lasting, profitable relationship. Suddenly, your concentration is shattered when one of your team members knocks on your door. He has another question about the task you delegated to him last week.
When a team member has been given a task and all the tools to succeed, yet still seems timid about moving forward, it may be time to look at your company’s culture.
Build a culture of leaders
Your goal is build a culture of leadership. There are many reasons you delegate tasks in the workplace. They can range from freeing your time for more important functions to mentoring subordinates into leadership positions. Time is a precious resource and you don’t have enough to monitor every step of employees’ work. That’s the reason you delegate tasks in the first place! Still, the act of delegation does not in and of itself ensure your team member will take the ball and run. In these cases, a new and innovative way to supercharge productivity may be the answer. Inspire your team members to lead at their own level.
First, you must clearly communicate the vision and goals of the company. Next, it is imperative you describe with pin-point accuracy how each person’s position supports that vision and those goals. Then, you must define the expectations you have for each team member.
You as a leader must spend some time understanding these concepts and communicating the fact that you are building a goal-driven organization. The more time you devote to making these concepts clear, the faster your team will internalize them. Once you have laid the foundation for a culture of leaders, you have identified the path your team will take to success. Sounds easy right? Not so fast!
Motivate them to lead at their level
Most employees want the chance to excel. Give them the opportunity. While they may be timid when a situation is out of their comfort zone, the learning that will occur outweighs the risk. Let team members know that in order to lead at their own level they must:
- Maintain a bias toward action. Action will yield results. If it’s not the desired result, then take a different action.
- Accept responsibility for the task and its completion. Support your team member’s willingness to take action, and hold them accountable for milestones and deadlines. You can delegate the responsibility for a task but you must share in the accountability.
- Know the expectations of their supervisor and the vision of the company. Inspire your subordinates to innovate and be creative <m> as long as innovation and free thinking are focused on (and in accordance with) the company’s vision and goals. When employees take action, have them ask, is this task getting me closer to reaching the objective? Will my plan accomplish the objective? Do my actions support the company’s goals? Is my plan in line with the company’s vision? If all of these questions are a yes, then don’t be afraid to take action.
Allowing and inspiring the members of your team to lead at their own level will supercharge productivity and build a culture of leadership that your team will thrive on. Your team members will lead at their own level because you gave them the tools they needed and you demonstrated that you have confidence in them.
Empowering team members to lead at their own level will encourage them to embrace their assignment, empower them to own the process and build a culture of leaders in your workplace. The effect of working within a culture of leaders transcends the day-to-day tasking of a job. They will far surpass your expectations through creativity, innovation and leadership.
Marty “Opus” Richard is the COO of Fighter Associates LLC. Reach him at [email protected].