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.”
Now if you find yourself giving orders it might be because you don’t have the right structure or the right rule in place. Here is an example. On my submarine I found myself giving orders over riding the watch-bill. This is the document that assigned people to the station and time they we would be doing their jobs. Because the people at the top, higher in the organization, were giving themselves cushier rotations than the people at the bottom of the organization, we made a rule. Our rule was that you couldn’t be in a better rotation than any person on your team below you.
Once we put that rule in place I could stop giving orders about the watch-bill because I knew the rule adhered to the principle I wanted. Basically I wanted them to feel the same pain. I wanted my senior people to take care of my junior people. I wanted them to invest in their growth and development.
My leadership nudge to you this week is this:
If you find yourself giving an order, try to figure out what the “right” rule is. A rule that you could put in place to avoid having to give that order.
Let us know how it goes!
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