How Sharing the Magic Can Lead to Big Change.
“It’s not fair.” “It’s her fault.” “He started it.”
Sound familiar? These three phrases often strike a childhood or parenting chord in mere seconds.
What about a work chord? You may not hear those exact phrases, but if you scratched away the surface, you’d most likely uncover one of the go-to-hard-to-kick phrases above.
No one likes the blame game. The blamer? Nope. The blamee? Heck no. The bystander? Not even close. It instinctively causes our most unattractive qualities to fly to center stage. We become aggressive, defensive, desperate and panicked. Mix and match any of them and you’ll be downing a toxic cocktail of emotional commotion with a twist.
What’s weaving this tangled work place web at lightning speed? Power (or lack thereof). Power. It’s a toughie.
Where to start? With the leader. All you leaders out there… Antennae up!
Sharing power with your employees is the answer. We always need enthusiastic and innovative leaders who can set clear boundaries at the helm. It’s not about giving up essential and necessary decision making control. What it IS about is allowing people to have a voice and really listening to what they have to say. It’s about delegating effectively so that people are held accountable and are challenging themselves. There is no better victory than challenging yourself and realizing that your knowledge and skills have helped better an organization or business. It’s motivating and uplifting and makes you sit up just a little bit taller. It may actually help us reverse losing inches of height as we get older! (Hey, you never know!)
When we have leaders who hold themselves accountable and understand that it takes a village to achieve (and surpass) goals, this energy naturally trickles down to the rest of the office – or site or classroom. Through clear communication everyone feels that they have a significant part to play that will benefit the whole and motivation increases. Through clear delegation everyone knows what that part is and dedication increases. Through appreciation everyone understands that their innate sense of belonging is fulfilled and their performance increases.
Being a leader is a learned skill. Yes, some have natural abilities but overall they need to be put into practice. It doesn’t matter where you fall on the hierarchy of your work place. All positions call for leadership qualities. If we are not allowed to hone them through a regular practice then they atrophy. Worse yet, when we do step into a place of power, we are either clueless or we become dictators who favor threats and intimidating tactics over respectful and diplomatic values.
Sharing power does NOT mean that you are a softy or a push-over or a people-pleaser. You can still be an incredibly tenacious leader who understands that sometimes decisions need to be made and people will be disappointed. We need that! We need more of your kind!
Shared power ultimately leads to increased productivity and decreased turnover. It bridges the communication gap and bulldozes over the passive aggressive behavior that can run rampant. It forms enlightening meetings over coffee and makes water cooler chatter an antiquated thing of the past.
We are all leaders somewhere in our lives. Where in your life can you share the power? It’s in your hands to let the light shine through.
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”
– Nora Ephron