Discover more from How to Lead Everybody (with their permission)
The "Owner's Eye"
Do your people feel like their work is theirs?
As leaders, we should grow our people’s competencies in many aspects of their professional lives. One way to do this is to empower them—to give them a piece of our authority, our power.
If you are just telling your people what to do, they probably do what you tell them. Some people might do it well, but others might also just be doing the minimum to keep getting a paycheck. They might not care.
People who care give the extra effort. People who care seek out ways to make their work product excellent. They build their skills and grow their understanding. And many people do it because they have that “owner’s eye.” They go above and beyond to make “their baby” the best it can be, just like a proud homeowner is likely to take better care of a property than a short-term renter will.
Empower your people to “take point” on a project. Act as a sounding board when they bring their action plan by you, but don’t tell them what to do. Give them parameters and templates for what the final version needs to be, but let them learn by figuring out how to make it happen.
I often say: “Don’t take people out of their comfort zone. Expand their comfort zone.” Start with small responsibilities, give feedback to build both competence and confidence, and then give them bigger responsibilities. Don’t delegate and abandon, but don’t micromanage—find that balance point in the middle with each person. Be there as a sounding board and for trouble-shooting, and have regular check-ins, so the person won’t go too far in a wrong direction.