Sharing power and developing our staff
We are, each of us, the sum total of all our experiences. One problem and/or situation affects us in others.
When employees feel strong, involved and needed, they get extraordinary things done while those who feel weak and insignificant consistently underperform and want to flee.
People who feel powerless tend to hoard the power they have. For example, powerless leaders usually adapt petty and dictatorial styles where political skills are utilized. "Covering your rear" and "passing the buck" are modes used to handle difficulties. Powerless employees tend to follow orders and avoid taking any initiative.
Sharing power is the answer. It lets workers know they are responsible for doing their own jobs – doing what they're paid to do – to help the organization succeed. It helps management and non-management realize the need not "to major in minor things" and continue to ensure that accountability is part of the day-to-day operation.
Methods that should be incorporated to ensure this approach is being effectively applied include the following modes:
- Develop competence. The growth of all workers is the leader's second mission.
- Provide choice. Allow workers the opportunity to make suggestions knowing that they will be listened to and taken seriously.
- Ensure self-leadership. Let workers know they are the experts in doing their own jobs and are accountable to themselves, you and the organization.
- Offer visible support. Workers generally want more room; let them know they have it. The additional rope they have is also capable of hanging them.
This approach is most effective in moving an organization forward. It lets people know they are held in dignity, are provided with specific and challenging shared responsibilities and will be held accountable for meeting them.
Jules Ciotta is president of Motivation Communications Associates. He can be reached at (770) 457-4100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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