Special Guest Blogger – Jodie Nevid
Leadership is a topic that is usually reserved for managers, supervisors or team leaders, but this limiting approach can stifle your people and your performance. What if everyone on your team understood the art of leadership? Or let’s go even broader… Imagine for a moment that everyone within your organisation was a true leader! What would that look like? Are you imagining too many chefs crowded around spoilt broth, or is the notion so farfetched that you can’t even see it?
Is leadership at every level an unachievable dream, a complete nightmare, or a potential reality?
The workforce is (or at least it should be) made up of adults, not children, yet it surprises me how common it is for organisations both large and small to operate on systems, structures and processes that place all the decision making and responsibility with senior management teams. This leads to frustration, stifled thinking, low accountability, and what I would call failure to thrive.
Think about it – a culture with little or no opportunity to think and problem solve breeds employees that fail to think and problem solve. Low trust and high control leads to a culture of low accountability, and high blame. It makes sense… it’s a self-perpetuating trap and it’s simply not sustainable. If your senior management teams feeling exhausted and overloaded because they feel like they “have to do it all themselves because no-one else is competent enough do things properly” then chances are there is a lack of leadership at all levels.
If your organisation is caught up in this ‘Catch 22’ here are a few ideas that might help:
- Teach ALL staff to lead and develop leadership skills at every level
- Empower people to make decisions at the level or work (remove layers of permission)
- Encourage people to use their performance development plans as an opportunity to take the lead and inspire them to be 100% accountable for completing and owning the process
- Foster growth by making a conscious effort to stretch peoples comfort zones – give them the opportunity to chair a meeting, speak at an event, deliver a report, lead a project, and develop new skills
- Dust the cobwebs off of your vision and mission and reconnect individuals with ownership for their particular part
- Ask people what they are passionate about and what gets them up out of bed each day
- Give less answers and ask more questions
As Robin Sharma says in his book The Leader Who Had No Title – “Regardless of what you do within your organization or the current conditions of your life, it is absolutely essential for you to remember that you have the power to show leadership where you are now planted – and shine at brilliance in all that you do.”
True leaders don’t wait for permission, they don’t get bogged down with excuses, and they are not held back by fear of being judged by others. True leaders go the extra mile without expecting the extra credit and their focus is on being the best they can be for the sake of those around them!
Imagine if everyone was a leader…. what would that look like in your organisation and what would be the impact?