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Monthly Archives: April 2016


Know Nothing Day

Leadership Nudge – KNOW NOTHING DAY

Today’s Leadership Nudge is “Know Nothing Day!” One of the things that gets in the way of us releasing control is the idea that we know all the answers. As Leaders we are expected to know all the answers. The idea here is for you to take one day and create a mental space that you don’t know anything about your job.

Imagine that you have just transferred into this domain and you don’t know anything. You can’t give any orders and when you are asking questions you can’t actually ask leading questions. You have to ask questions from the perspective of curiosity, not from the oh, I am going to lead you to some answer that I think is right.

Practice this. Now, don’t have everyone in the organization do it the same day – that would be a mess! Let your people know ahead of time that you are going to have a know nothing day. Let them know that you are going to rely on them to come up with the answers and solutions. By doing this, you will realize how many times each day in an email, face-to-face, and in meetings that you are telling people what to do.

My leadership nudge to you this week is this:

Have a Know Nothing Day!

Let us know how it goes!

Enroll for the Leadership Nudge – www.davidmarquet.com

Time Out, Listen with Hourglass

Leadership Nudge – Time Out, Listen with Hourglass

My Leadership Nudge to you this week is designed to help you practice awesome listening skills. I call it “Time Out” and it comes from my friend Dave Adams.

Here’s how it works. When someone from my team comes to talk to me I break out a timer. In the video I use a one-minute sandglass. When my team member has my attention, I flip over the timer. And just listen. All I can do, until the sand runs out, is listen.

I can’t think about questions that I might ask. I can’t formulate my response. I can’t tell them my story and I can’t solve my team member’s problems. All I can do is listen to my team and learn from them.

Only after the sand runs out can I actually respond. This ensures that I focus on them and listen before I respond.

My leadership nudge to you this week is this:

Find an hourglass or sandglass. When your team comes to you with information, flip it over and simply listen to your team until the sand runs out.

Let us know how it goes!

Enroll for the Leadership Nudge – www.davidmarquet.com

Leaders Trust First

Leadership Nudge – Leaders Trust First

Today we will discuss the inter-relation between control – giving more control – more empowerment, and competence and clarity. In general, you want to move up and right on the graph toward the area where you have team members with more competence and clarity and you are giving more control.

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The key is this: either we can build competence and clarity then say, “Oh, you are ready for more control!” Or, we can give more control first and and then fill in the competence and clarity! The way to rapidly change your organization is to give more control first. Leaders trust first.

Let’s say you are leading a research lab and you and your team have invented something new. You want to have some publicity, some communication about it. The leader could say to the team, “Hey, I want you to write these articles, post them here, here, and here, and include this information, and make sure it is 300 words!” The other option is this: the leaders could give their intentions. “Hey, how about coming up with some ideas for publicity?”

The team could then bring great information to the leader. The team has to trust that they have the competence and clarity. Without that trust they could just bog down the leader with questions. “Well what do you want me to write, where do you want me to post it, how long should it be?” Teams that think they have the competence and clarity use this as an opportunity to demonstrate that they do in fact have the competence and clarity. They respond with, “Great, we will go write some drafts and we’ll show you!”

That creates a bias toward action! Intent-Based Leadership organizations share that characteristic. They are biased toward action and that creates a tremendous competitive advantage.

My leadership nudge to you this week is comes in two parts:

As a leader, trust first. Give your team the guidance, the INTENT, and let them demonstrate their competence. Trust that they can do it.

As a team member, when your team leader gives you a chance to demonstrate your competence and clarity, jump at the chance!

Let us know how it goes!

Enroll for the Leadership Nudge – www.davidmarquet.com

Give Rules, Not Orders

Leadership Nudge – Give Rules, Not Orders

In Intent-Based Leadership organizations we try to refrain from giving a bunch of orders. We still have rules or structures. For example, we might say, “Look, we are going to have metrics and you can choose the metrics.” Or we might say, “We are going to have a plan, but you get to write the plan.” Continue reading

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