David Marquet - Intent Based Leadership: Create Leaders at Every Level

Monthly Archives: November 2016

Lack Clarity? Take the Initiative


Have you ever found yourself in this situation? You’ve had the “I intend to” talk with the boss. The boss likes the direction you are going and says, “Let’s get it done!” You are excited, energized, motivated, and then you realize you might be lacking some of the clarity you need to get the job done.

Here are some things you can do. First, take the initiative. Schedule time with the boss to get the clarity you need. Second, don’t ask the boss to solve the issue, just ask for more information. Don’t go in and ask them to tell you what to do. Try saying this instead; “I need a little more clarity to ensure success here. Can you let me know what you are thinking?”

Here’s the why. It shows you understand the importance of the job you are trying to accomplish. And you retain the initiative for the communication and for getting the job done. You have control over your work.

Our Leadership Nudge to you this week is this:

If you find yourself lacking clarity – take the initiative for acquiring the information you need.

Let us know what how it goes!

Enroll for the Leadership Nudge –  www.davidmarquet.com

How We Give Thanks

Leadership Nudge – HOW WE GIVE THANKS

Here in the United States we are about to celebrate our Thanksgiving Holiday. Giving thanks, recognizing, and praising our people is going to be top of mind. How we give thanks and how we praise our teams has a significant impact on their subsequent behavior.

If we say “Hey, thanks for doing such a good job,” and we praise a trait, the outcome can be quite interesting. We say things like, “You demonstrated how smart you are,” or “You are really talented.” That tends to push people into a fixed mindset. That will make them a little more risk-adverse and not want to test whether that trait is actually true or not.

Praising people for their behavior, like “You worked really hard,” or “You showed great attention to detail, perseverance, or grit,” tends to give people a growth mindset. It encourages them to engage in more of that behavior.

To learn more, check out this article from Carol S. Dweck, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-secret-to-raising-smart-kids1/

Our Leadership Nudge to you this week is this:

When thanking your teams this week, praise their behavior!

Let us know what how it goes!

Enroll for the Leadership Nudge – www.davidmarquet.com

Red Work Blue Work

Leadership Nudge – RED WORK BLUE WORK

Our Leadership Nudge™ this week is about two different kinds of work. We call them Red work and Blue work.

Red work is work that is fundamentally about reducing variability. Red work is the kind of work we are very familiar with. It is a result of the industrial revolution. Red work is about doing. It is about avoiding errors. It is about execution. When we say, “We come to work to do our jobs,” that is a legacy of this long history of red work.

Blue work is fundamentally about embracing variability. Blue work is thinking work, not just doing. Blue work is about achieving excellence, not just avoiding errors. Blue work is about decision making, not just executing our tasks.

We think about our work like this, our work is either red work or blue work, and we alternate between the two. Here’s the problem. Bots, algorithms, and robots are increasingly eating away at the red work. If you are doing a lot of red work, your job is at risk and it is going to go away.

Our Leadership Nudge to you this week is this:

Think about the work you are doing and create more blue work in the work.

Let us know what how it goes!

Enroll for the Leadership Nudge –  www.davidmarquet.com

Use the Word Yet

Leadership Nudge – USE THE WORD YET 

Have you ever been in a meeting or a counseling session that was kind of a bummer? Have you ever delivered news that was all about what hasn’t been accomplished? Maybe you have been in a conversation that was focused on goals that were set but haven’t been completed.

Try adding this small word to your conversation. The word is “yet.” It will help give your team a sense of progress and a sense of growth. Our conversations may look more like this:

“Hey we haven’t accomplished this yet.”

“You have not completed that yet.”

“We made it to the World Series, but we haven’t won it yet.”

Our Leadership Nudge to you this week is this:

Add the word yet to your conversations when talking about the things that are not complete. Give your team a sense of progress and growth!

Let us know what how it goes!

My team would like to congratulate the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs for a great World Series!

Enroll for the Leadership Nudge –  www.davidmarquet.com

Free Up Information

Leadership Nudge – FREE UP INFORMATION

Inside an organization there are generally two different kinds of information that flow. One type of information is associated with authority. These are decisions that are made and instructions that are given. The other category is simple information, which can be things like;

“Hey, here is report with the third quarter numbers.”

“How are things going today?”

The problem is we apply the same rule set to both kinds of information. It turns out that authority should follow the hierarchy. But information should be able to flow anywhere in the hierarchy.

Here is an example of how this plays out. The CEO comes out of her office and walks about on the shop floor. Maybe she stops at one of the machines and says to the operator, “How’s your gear operating today?”

And the machine operator says, “It’s doing pretty well, but I have noticed a little vibration which I think I might have a bearing going bad.” So far, all is well, it is just an exchange of information. Now if the CEO says, “Oh, you should shut it down and do maintenance.” That is an authority communication and that is a violation because that information should follow the chain.

The CEO walks away and goes to visit someone else. So far so good. Ideally, our machine operator then contacts his or her supervisor and says “Hey boss, the CEO was just at my station, and I told her about the vibration I have been feeling.” When we see that communication, sometimes what happens is people get nervous, “Oh my goodness, he shouldn’t be talking to the CEO!” That is a misunderstanding of the difference between information and authority.

Our Leadership Nudge to you this week is this:

Take a look, or a listen, to the communication flowing throughout your organization and if it is simply information, free it up! Let the information flow anywhere!

Let us know what how it goes!

Enroll for the Leadership Nudge –  www.davidmarquet.com

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