If the rule in your office is ‘know your place’:
Change the RULE or CHANGE THE LEADER… RIGHT NOW!
Leadership is about bringing out the potential of every employee!
One of the most common leadership mistakes is systematically restricting employee contributions because they fall outside of the employee’s job description.
Bob’s worked here since 2002, he was hired on as a Blackberry support specialist and now he can’t represent the team at a local event, because it’s not in his job description. Really?
Sure, people are hired to do specific jobs and yes there are labor laws that govern what we can and can’t ask of employees but why restrict the potential contributions of employees that are simply seeking opportunities to demonstrate their value and capabilities in new ways? Isn’t that an implicit promise of every job description?
Great leaders use job descriptions as developmental starting points.
Here are two ways leaders can help employees show their stuff:
Organizational memory and know-how: Work somewhere a while and you’ll develop firsthand knowledge of why things are the way they are and how things “REALLY” work. Solid leaders seek out ways to leverage all the skills and knowledge of their employees and help them showcase their institutional knowledge.
Think HUMAN not HIERARCHICAL: Managing relationships is critical to team success and great leaders aren’t relationship snobs. EVERYBODY knows someone that can help your organization, so never-ever reject an established relationship with an individual contributor in favor of trying to get two hierarchical equals to talk – it’s short sighted and insulting. Sure, that are any number of legitimate reasons you may not want someone to engage on behalf of your team but job description isn’t one of them.
Great leaders uplift, upskill, challenge and inspire.
Great leaders go the way of their people.
A quiet, largely invisible group of under-performers is not the calling card of a great leader.
As always, I welcome your comments directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.