Ideally, the best results are the consequence of a team of individuals working towards a common goal. Everybody knows what they are accountable for and what their role in helping one another is. Everyone gives in their 150%. But ideal circumstances are rare, very rare.
But why is that so?
The fact is that there could be many reasons to it but the one that we want to talk about here is connected to the leadership style. This doesn’t apply just to the top level management. This applies to anyone in the supervisory position. We start with the top level management but there is a something for everyone by the end of this article!
Top Leadership and the Crazy 8 of Delegation
More than 80% of top leadership exhibits this pattern. It begins with “I have too much to do and I need to help to get it done on time.” This results with finding the right experts to execute the task. But then comes in the feeling that goes like, “This does not feel quite right” and that in time turns into “This isn’t working – I have to do it myself!” This pattern is what we call the CRAZY 8. What is immediate reaction that we have observed in such a situation? Leaders step in and take things back under their watchful eye and take on a bulk of the workload once again. This breaks the circle of trust among the team and brings in the element of finger pointing. For the focus for them, is now on what went wrong and not on the solution.
The best of the leading men and women in the corporate world say that they spend only 30% of their time in day to day activities. But how can this be possible if you take on a bulk of the workload once again? That is why we recommend that the leaders need to avoid falling into the “crazy 8”. The better way to approach this situation is by fixing the loopholes and the people challenges that might be rendering the process flow ineffective.
Narayana Murthy, chairman of Infosys, says: “It’s very important to decentralize. Articulate your vision, lay out the norms for reporting and the delegating of authority, and formulate a clear escalation mechanism. You need a protocol understood and practiced by various cultures.”
How can you make this happen?
The first and foremost approach to take is to not wait for trouble to show up. Start the process of reporting and follow up from the very beginning to ensure that your team is working towards the right direction.
The second step is to understand and accept that one human has the ability to only directly influence upto 5 people that he or she directly interacts with. It is essential that you work with your direct reporting team and build a relationship of trust and honesty with them. Help them grow. Give them the room to make mistakes while making the room of time to fix an error before it reaches critical mass. Be their coach. At the same time, help them build a equation of performance, helpfulness and teamwork among themselves. Never forget that culture perpetuates from the heads of teams. Their attitude is what the teams across the organization adopts and if the culture of performance and no blame is instilled at this level then it will cascade into the rest of your organization. Turn your task of delegation into an effort of coaching and elevation.
The third step is to identify the areas of the process that are posing a challenge. Modify them to ensure that it gives results at the same time is doable for the team to execute. This balance is essential to keep the morale of the team up.
How does this delegation style influence the organization’s culture?
Set the standard of what is expected from the organization’s culture and the delegation style with them. What they experience is what they will perpetuate with the teams that report to them.
How does this make a difference to you as a manager or supervisor or team member?
By now you are wondering, I am not a CEO or COO, how does this matter to me? Delegation is a two way street. A leader can hand out a task but keeping in it your alley is a joint effort that both you and your leader need to make.
As a manager or a team member
The same level of trust that your leaders maintain with you is what you need to develop with the individuals reporting to you. You play a key role in perpetuating the culture of the organization and how you delegate is key to it. Extend the same liberty of making mistakes and learning from them to your team. Make it a norm for the team members to help each because the final goal is what matters. Put away the fingers and set a zone of no blame. It is your accountability to hold your team responsible to maintain the same culture of no blame, performance and teamwork that you are a part off. Your attitude dictates the attitude of your team members towards the other teams. It also determines how the remaining teams respond to you and your team members.
As a team member or player
If you want to be trusted, you need to build trust. If you do not want to be in an environment of blame, then you need to contribute to a culture of no blame. Don’t point a finger. If you want to work in a team and not in silos, then you need to contribute towards building the team. Treat others the way you would want to be treated and keep your eye on the mark. After all, a leader is only what the team makes him.
Every drop makes an ocean and that why every drop counts. That why YOU, every single one of you, count!
Would you like to know more about how to set a no blame zone in your office and build a culture of performance? We can help!