I’ve heard many business leaders with complaints similar to, “Why don’t my employees think for themselves?” or “Why do I always end up doing other people’s jobs?”.
As the leader/CEO/President, it’s often a big waste of time and money when you spend your time doing the job(s) of employees you’re already paying. Not to mention, you’re quite an overpaid manager. Plus, you’re likely the most passionate & qualified person in your organization to set the vision and direction. If you’re not filling that role, who is?
Unfortunately, unless your employees share your passion for your cause, it’s a long shot that you’re going to be able to genuinely motivate them consistently and for the long term. If you’re lucky, you may get occasional bursts of engagement by offering incentives and pep-talks. If you simply hire for technical competence and not for culture, I’d argue that you’re expectations are unreasonable that your employees will act and perform like a team. Instead, you’ll be hiring people who do a job from 9 to 5 to collect a paycheck. They won’t be engaged and you’ll likely be the one picking up the slack. In other words, they will be delegating to you.
How can you stop your team from delegating to you? Begin with the end in mind.
If you want your employees to be as engaged, reliable and creative as you are, you’re going to have to start by hiring people who are excited about the same cause you are. Your drive is fueled by something internal. There’s an emotional connection for you. In this respect, you’re not so unique. Human beings are hardwired to do just about whatever it takes to build, protect and advance a mission to which they are emotionally connected and is bigger than they are (eg., being a parent, athletes setting their sights on the Olympics, landing on the moon, etc.).
When everyone in your organization is excited about what your company does and why you do it, members of your team step up because they want the cause, and everyone associated with it, to succeed. They also don’t want to let their team down with their own poor performance. In other words, they willingly and enthusiastically share the load. You’ll find that they’ll even wrestle you for things on your “To Do” list so that you can focus on leading the organization.
Bear in mind that as the leader, when you’re clear about why your organization exists and where you’re headed, only then can you hire people who believe what you believe, who share your passion and are energized by your vision. Unless you’ve taken the time to define these elements and can effectively communicate them, you’re not going to be able to lead anyone in the direction of your goal or give them a reason to follow you.
Here’s your challenge: evaluate your current team and determine who is passionate about your cause. Other than a paycheck, you’re not doing anyone any favors if they’re not excited about where your organization is headed. Let them discover and pursue their passion.
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