You are a leader in a new role, or maybe you are taking on a big new project. You want things to go well, to unfold as you envision, but you also want your team to stick with you through the challenge. You know that statistics show that engagement at work is suffering. You don’t want to be one of those statistics. And you are aware that the way you lead your people through this big effort will impact their engagement.
So how do you, as a leader, reconcile your commitment to your vision with your desire to maintain a culture where your team members feel engaged and happy at work? To stay engaged, your team members need to feel a sense of autonomy. Autonomy allows us to put our own creative mark on our work, and in doing so, not only do we feel better, but we also may find better ways to get things done than if we were following rigid routines. On the other hand, if you allow too much autonomy, your plans may derail. The key to balancing the autonomy that leads to good things like your team’s innovation and commitment at work with ensuring the success of their efforts is to make sure they understand your vision and the values behind it. When you clearly communicate your vision upfront and continually reinforce it and the values that support it, your team has the necessary information to make the thousands of microdecisions every day that are a part of the modern work environment. This is how you encourage innovation to thrive and supercharge your progress toward goals.
The nature of work today requires creativity and adaptability. Command and control leadership styles won’t work anymore. As a leader, you face a tough challenge: align people with your vision and then allow them the autonomy to work towards it. There is no one-and-done formula for this effort. It is continuous and requires reflection. As a coach, I’m happy to serve as your sounding board on this journey.