In a time of instantaneous information, leaders often get confused. We think our job is to serve up all the answers for our teams to simply scroll and select.
But the most successful leaders are the ones who understand their role is not to be the search engine, but rather be part of the search engine.
Exploring solutions together with your team, encouraging their participation, shows that you value their insights and genuinely care about earning their buy-in.
As leaders, we have access to a lot of insider information. Marketing results. Financial reports. Competitor analyses. We’ve got stats on stats.
But that’s only part of the picture.
Our team members are rooted in the day-to-day happenings. While we’re often seeing a top-line view, they’re on the ground—engaging with clients, interacting with proprietary software, experiencing the pain points and successes of established processes.
While our team members are busy executing the work, many are dreaming up incredibly creative solutions to everyday problems. We should listen to them. They know what they’re talking about.
Of course, there are times when we have to provide an immediate answer to resolve an issue quickly or confidentially. That’s just the nature of business.
But whenever possible, we should empower our teams to participate in the search for solutions. Not only will we be rewarded with an abundance of innovative ideas, we will also foster confidence, earn trust and strengthen our team bonds.
In what ways are you empowering your people to be part of the solution?
Jason V. Barger is a globally celebrated keynote speaker, leadership coach and author of Thermostat Cultures, Step Back from the Baggage Claim and ReMember. He is founder of Step Back Leadership Consulting, a Columbus-based company that works with businesses and organizations worldwide. Connect via email at jason@JasonVBarger.com or on social media at @JasonVBarger.
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