By Dr. Cathy Greenberg
Many executives are surprised not only by the ownership and drive for implementation that comes from high-involvement approaches, but also by the improved quality of the answers that emerge.
I found evidence of this from reading management consultant Noel Tichy’s most recent book, “Judgment on the Front Line: How Smart Companies Win By Trusting Their People,” which explores how front-line employees who deal directly with customers are the face of any organization, the impact they have on the perception of the brand, as well as their value in providing insights into what the customer wants.
In speaking to Harvard Business Review in November 2008, John Chambers, chairman and CEO of networking specialist Cisco Systems, described his experience in this regard. “It was hard for me at first to learn to be collaborative,” he said. “The minute I’d get into a meeting, I’d listen for about ten minutes while the team discussed a problem. I knew what the answer was, and eventually I’d say, ‘All right, here’s what we’re going to do.’ But when I learned to let go and give the team the time to come to the right conclusion, I found they made just as good decisions, or even better — and just as important, they were even more invested in the decision and thus executed with greater speed and commitment.”
What it comes down to, of course, is that when people make their own decisions, they are more dedicated to everything that follows. If your team wants what you want them to want, you are five times more likely to get it.
How do you work with your teams? What kind of voices do you want to hear, or what kind of agreement or disagreement do you ask for? At t his point, you’re aware of how important it is to be open to engagement. Are you still resisting? Or have you made steps toward becoming a Fearless Leader?
For questions about this post or for information on becoming a fearless leader, contact Dr. Cathy Greenberg and The Fearless Leader Group at (888) 320-1299 or by email at email@example.com.
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