When I work with leaders we frequently talk about the concept of leading more by doing less. It's a different way of thinking about leadership because it asks us to give more power to our employees so that we will eventually lead well. Here are four ideas to help you start moving toward inspiring your staff.
Let Go of Power and Control
The idea that we have to be on top of people or dominate them in some way pervades our leadership practices. I've found that inspirational leaders let go of the need to be the "expert" or "top dog" and move toward a model that gives more power and control to their staff. The whole point of doing this is to give your people the ability to function well on their own. This will make you look great in the end even if it feels counter-intuitive at first.
Be a Resource Instead of a Supervisor
Instead of micromanaging or riding your employees set yourself up as a resource. This allows you to breathe and be there for your employees when they need it. Make yourself available for any questions or feedback but please refrain from giving advice at every possible moment. People will ask you for help when they believe that you're there to help them rather than judge or correct them.
Encourage People to be Independent and Grow
One of the best ways to retain employees is to get out of the way and let them shine. This means that we learn to identify our employees' talents and abilities and then let them use them in the workplace. This helps people feel invested and valued in the organization. Employees are far more likely to want to excel and do more if we allow them to use their interests.
Leadership Is Up To You
Leaders frequently ask me, "But how do we do this stuff in a work environment that doesn't support it?" The answer is that you get to lead in any way you choose even within the parameters of any situation. In other words, you choose whether you take action to inspire your employees.
Try these ideas as you move toward being a leader who truly inspires his or her employees.