Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Admit what you don't know

As a leader, are you able to reveal your weaknesses in order to build a stronger workplace?

Leaders who insist on making all the decisions often find themselves with disengaged employees. If people aren't taking charge in your organization, your leadership style might be the problem. If you have an overly directive approach, take a step back. Acknowledge your failings (whether they be your knowledge base or a particular skill set) with your team. Share your personal and organizational goals. Then, admit that you don't have all the answers and you need your team's help in reaching those goals. This will give your people room to actively participate in the organization's success. This act of humility is often seen as courageous and inspires others to follow suit.

You can extend this idea to actually inviting some individuals to take on certain roles.  For example, if you're bad at remembering the social aspects of the workplace, ask for a couple of volunteers to take on this responsibility.  Another example might be asking for a volunteer or two to help identify what's missing from conversations at meetings.  Certain individuals could be asked to help the group identify perspectives that may be missed when your team gets together to work.  By engaging more staff with important workplace roles, you're sharing the responsibility of leading the school/organization.  You're building capacity, and you're ensuring the workplace is a healthy environment in which to work because responsibility is shared.

Adapted from "Fire, Snowball, Mask, Movie: How Leaders Spark and Sustain Change" by Peter Fuda and Richard Badham.

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