Leadership is not all common sense. That’s why it’s worth training your managers, and going on a course yourself. Here are 13 ideas that you probably won’t have discovered yourself, except maybe the hard way…..
- Everything is management’s fault – either you know about it and it’s your fault for not fixing it, or you don’t know about it and it’s your fault for not knowing. If it’s a person that’s not competent it’s your fault, if it’s a person that ‘s not motivated it’s your fault, and if it’s a system that’s not good enough, it’s your fault. Check out my Captain of the Ship story if this still isn’t clear in your mind.
- It’s a GOOD sign if nothing changes when the boss goes on holiday – again this related to the Captain. If the people are right and the systems are right you can leave them to it for a while, but not too long since things gradually get out of date. If they can’t cope without you then you’re either a control freak or they are not up to their jobs.
- Delegation is not risky – if you monitor correctly then they can’t go significantly off track. Monitoring and supporting mean that there is no risk. It’s Abdication, where you don’t monitor, that’s risky!
- Tell and delegate look almost the same – if I say “Sell more to Scotland” is that telling or delegating? There is a key difference between the two though, which I don’t have time to write here.
- Don’t tell competent people how to do something, even if you know. It’s very demotivating when your boss tells you how to do something that you already know – don’t they trust you?? Plus it’s the only way for people to learn, maybe they don’t get it 100% correct the first time but they are learning.
- Delegate at 80% – if you wait for them to be at 100% before you give them stuff you’ll wait for ever, because in your mind they’ll never be as good as you, and the only way they can get there is by doling it themselves and learning. So you have to watch them do it only 80% as well as you, …and suck it up!
- Don’t give jobs to the person who can best do them – even though it’s easier for you and the job gets done quicker and cheaper. The person will be bored, and so will the slightly less able person who would have found it a challenge, so give it to that second person.
- Criticism is 10x as strong as praise – so if you give out 50/50 you end up with very demotivated people. It needs to be in the ratio 1:10 even to stay level, and ideally would be 1:100 or even…. 1:0.
- Insecurity doesn’t motivate people – as Maslow says, if you say “Nobody’s indispensable you know” people ignore being part of a team, the sense of belonging is lost, they lose any feeling of importance, and they won’t risk challenge or learning, they’ll put their energy into covering themselves and maybe start looking for another job instead of doing the best work they can.
- How often to thank – is there a rule? Yes there is! A good boss thanks everyone in their team individually for something tangible that they have done, every week, on average.
- Information in and information out – people who are not yet competent are motivated by learning and being coached, while people who are already competent are motivated by being asked and being involved. All you have to do is work out which person is which – in each situation.
- Good people need looking after too – it’s easy to focus all your efforts on the problem people and take the stars for granted. But they get bored, and the game is to catch them before they get bored, but constantly increasing their motivation with mini-challenges and learning.
- Think about involvement in planning and freedom in doing – for each person and situation, independently, you have a choice about how much you involve them in the planning – do you tell, consult, share or delegate? and then when they carry out the work do they have to check before, report after, or are they free to get on with it?
The above is available, in more detail with examples and stories, as a keynote talk (we don’t have to do all 13 if the talk is shorter) – see my list of all keynotes here.