As leaders, one of your most important jobs is to replace yourself with a resource which is not as good as you but better than you. To do this you must develop your replacement. It starts with giving your team the ability to make choices.
This can be a scary action when there may have been little focus on the process of making choices in a person’s life. As young children, our guardians (parents etc.) make many choices for us. From the food, we are exposed to and the clothes we wear to the places we live and the schools we attend. We start being given small amounts of choice. As we mature and hopefully begin to demonstrate decision-making skills, the effort results in positive choices.
The reality is that for the past few decades, less and less positive choice development has been consciously provided to our youth. Guardians have abdicated their roles to third-party resources such as day care staff, school teachers, athletic coaches etc. These third-party resources do not have the same vested interest in the future outcome of the youth. It is not that they intend to do them harm. The issue is that at the end of the day, event, a cycle of time the youth moves on and the role to help in positive choice making falls back into a void. The fundamental learning process of spaced repetition is lost and thus the process of choice making is left to wither away.
With the absence of this process of positive rearing of the youth, the now young adult moves into the workplace. Employers are now faced with the need to invest in taking a partially formed attitude about making choices and craft a process which will enable the person to navigate the many options available to come to positive choices.
As leaders, it is our responsibility to take this challenge head-on. Leadership comes with the responsibility to create a culture and environment where positive choice development can take place. This means allowing for planned failure! For it is through trying and failing that some of the best lessons are not just learned but cemented away in the minds of future leaders so they do not repeat again.
This week take the time to look back on your own choice development skills. How was your decision-making process formulated? Did your leaders allow you to try and fail only to pick you up, dust you off and let you learn from your choices? Evaluate your organizations’ culture. Does the culture allow for people to take risks and be rewarded for positive decision making when the end result might not have turned out as originally planned?
Your future and the future of your business is dependent on you replacing yourself. The time to develop choice skills is already in motion. Take the time to make sure you are allowing for that development to take place in your company.
Are you leading by empowering? Time to call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 so you can move to providing a culture where positive choices are part of the environment.