Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Something positive from the floods

While the devastation from the floods in Australia will take a long time to clear up, as usually happens in Australia, the fact of the army of volunteers descending to assist in the clean up of ravaged areas is very positive. It is a story that is almost always repeated after floods, fires, and cyclones.

A question that this raises is: "Why can't we harness people's energy and ability on an every day basis in all areas of life?"

The answer is that "we can" and that good leaders - Third Generation Leaders - do it every day.

So how is it done? Third Generation Leaders can harness everyone's energies and facilitate engagement with some simple actions. Here is a key selection:

  1. Be honest and authentic in your communications. In other words, show unconditional respect to everyone.
  2. Don't pretend to have all the answers. Make it clear that you will really listen to suggestions and that you will fully acknowledge contributions made.
  3. Don't play power games - or any of the other games that are so often played in organisations - steer clear of hidden agendas.
  4. Let everyone know the real situation - give them the facts - and encourage them to buy in emotionally to the reality being faced.
  5. Let everyone know that their contribution will be and is appreciated.
  6. Help everyone obtain a clear sense of a shared purpose and allow them to say what they can and cannot, are willing and are not willing, to do. Train, coach, support and counsel as required to help people develop the competence and the willingness to do everything that needs to be done.
  7. Encourage shared accountability - accountability to one's peers, accountability to desired results, and accountability to one's own values and purpose.
  8. Don't try to tightly control people - facilitate success by supporting not controlling. Do what you can to ensure that people have the resources they need, where they need them, and when they need them. Get out of the way and let them get on with it. Stop micro managing.
  9. Provide feedback at every opportunity while seeking and being prepared to receive brutally honest feedback on your own behaviour as a leader.
Yes, there is more to it that just these 9 things - but implementing these will certainly start to get things moving in the right direction. Its not rocket science!

I'd love to know what you think about this. Please make your comments below.

More information about Doug Long at http://www.dglong.com

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