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Unnecessary Leadership

Unnecessary Leadership

Unnecessary Leadership - The Very best Leadership of All

Have you ever wondered why when police officers are present drivers tend to suddenly follow all posted speed laws and seem to be on their finest driving behavior?  I often found this to be really humorous to observe due to the fact as soon as the police officer is no longer present, everyone resumes their typical accelerated speeds which are generally far beyond the posted speed limits.  It's almost comical how it plays out. 

A similar problem lies with management.  Staff tend to be on their finest behavior and step up their performance when the boss is about but left to function independently, performance drops significantly.  Based on these scenarios, it is fair to say that supervision is often needed to accomplish peak performance from your employees.  This is normally obtained via excellent leadership and management. 

In my store, I currently have 12 employees that work for me.  From these 12 individuals I call for far more than just compliance…..I want engagement…..I want drive.  I want a staff that is self-motivated and can function just as challenging when I'm there as when I'm not.  As their boss, I want to be an unnecessary leader. 

I believe is achievable and was articulated so well by author Daniel Pink in his TED presentation where he discusses how management is a manmade institution that is not as vital as we believe.  He is a massive advocate of autonomy, the act of directing one's own life and controlling one's work.  Pink said this should be motivation sufficient and also discusses "Mastery" and "Purpose" as some other motivations.  Management serves a purpose with compliance but self-direction is much more beneficial for engagement. The work environment of nowadays ought to de-emphasize leadership and focus far more on an employee's self-reliance.

The more extreme version of this function model is "ROWE", or "Outcomes Only Work Environment." In this sort of environment, staff are compensated purely by their function production and not their time invested.  What this indicates is they can call their own shots as long as they achieve the desired outcomes.  These sorts of employees can either come into the office, or not, and put in 40 hours of function or only four hours of function, it is totally up to them.  They can also decide on if they are going to wear pajamas or a suit and direct how they will achieve their outcomes. 

Sounds like the ideal globe proper?  A world that balances freedom and function.   There's evidence that, at least in some instances, this can yield increased function.

 For numerous years now, Dutch engineers have noticed remarkable results with what they call "shared space." In several communities, they have eliminated stoplights and street signs that direct vehicles, bikes and pedestrians, requiring individuals be much more engaged as they travel the city. Unlike typical roadways where citizens mindlessly rely on visitors laws, lights and police enforcement, residents in shared space are forced to function together to maintain issues moving and preserve a level of safety. According to , this alter at a key intersection in the town of Drachten decreased site visitors accidents from 36 in four years to just two in two years, although speeding up the time it takes for a auto to pass by means of the intersection from 50 seconds to 30 seconds. No one is there to tell commuters what to do or how to do it. The community manages itself. The result is a profitable, organic collaboration.

It would seem a key component to this self-governance is personal stakes. That does not necessarily mean a reward or compensation. It indicates the scenario should matter to all participants. In the case of shared space, individuals want to steer clear of injury. Safety is some thing commuters value.

As a , I've identified some non-monetary values that matter to workers. My surveys of function environments consistently reveal one typical thread - folks want praise. They want stimulating function. They want individual growth.  And, they want to be component of something that is bigger than themselves and has some sort of social significance. (This ties in with Pink's thoughts on "purpose.")  This means that as soon as people's fundamental wants are met, they're willing to forgo monetary compensation if it indicates they can continue to honor their value program.

There are a multitude of jobs that don't pay nicely but continue to attract dedicated, intelligent folks.  Occupations such as teachers, social workers, and numerous other underpaid experts function very hard and don't require a lot of direct supervision. These professionals work in their field by selection because they really feel connected to what they are performing.  Their work inspires and motivates them by giving them "purpose".  That "purpose" is why they do not demand a lot of management.  All they needed was the freedom to follow their passions. 

When folks turn out to be ineffective in their function, it is usually means they have lost the meaningful connection to their function.  Those that are just plodding along and collecting a paycheck are no longer able to yield results like they once did.  This is typically the point when management steps in to force compliance.    

But "forcing" compliance requires a lot of time, energy and reliance on management. As a busy individual myself, I don't want to "force" everyone to function hard, or for that matter, push and shove them to want something.  Even though I'm a , I do not want to motivate my workers.  I want people that can motivate themselves.  I offer training, support, resources and encouragement along the way but ultimately, it is their job to locate purpose in what they are doing. 

I can efficiently do this by redirecting an uninspired employee to a function-related cause that matters to them.  This helps them relight that fire. By obtaining the where they care about the outcome and outcomes, I'm able to develop a win-win for every person involved.  This is the important to helping workers function in a a lot more autonomous, tension free of charge environment. 

The greatest workers function independently and do not want motivation from outside sources to do their job effectively. The best leaders are unnecessary. If an employee is unable to function without having , then maybe it's time to make them offered to yet another employer.  

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