Offer problems

When leading people, it’s better to be careful about pushing urgencies down the line.

An urgency is always something personal. Something that is urgent for you is rarely urgent for another person, and when you leverage your position of power to get that done, two things happen.

First, the machine gets stuck. The member of your team who is working on your urgency is not being employed for what they were (hopefully) hired for. Instead, they are acting on orders. Value is not added and the organisation has just seen a bottleneck blooming.

Second, energies are drained. The effort put into doing a task one does not understand is more than the one put into a task one owns. Additional mental energy is needed to make sense of the situation, reverse-engineer the decision and figure out if this is the right time to search for a new job.

Rather than urgencies to act upon, offer people problems to solve, and let them come up with their list of actions, people to meet and documents to draft. Give them the tools and let them come up with their story. After all, nobody wants to be a secondary character in a story someone else has drafted.

Be the person who gives energy, not the one who takes it away.

From The Trillion Dollar Coach

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