This is the most simple answer, to a common challenge for many leaders. I learned this one in my twenties, both in management positions, and in owning my first business.
You cannot control others. Period.
Yes, you can nag them. Write them up. Fire them perhaps. Then start all over again. But at the end of the day, THEY CHOOSE. They decide if they are in or out. They decide if the organization’s message resonates enough with them to invest at a high level. They choose how hard, long and creatively they will work.
In my consultations with organizations, leaders and teams, I find that often Team Leaders will spin with frothy frustration over control tug-of-wars with their teams. Exhausting. Let’s get real; People don’t go to work because they want you to be proud of them. It’s not THEIR company or vision. (this is important for CEO’s who think everyone should think like them- it ain’t gonna happen) And they don’t care about their managers bonus, generally speaking. They are there for some internal and/or external reason of their own. Personal fulfillment. Bills to pay. This is the field they got a degree in. Or this is a step in the direction they are headed. Or because they love their job. Or they love the type of clients your company attracts… But they are not there to fulfill your ambitions as a team leader, or company owner/founder. Ambitions like: status, numbers, money, ego, power, market position, retirement, moving up the ladder etc.
That’s OK that they are there for themselves. You are there for yourself as well. It’s your dream, vision, calling or whatever. So- like your team, you are all there for personal reasons.
When I facilitate workshops, the same elements apply.
People show up. They show up for a reason. Those reasons differ. What they will all individually bring to the room dynamic is unique. What they will create, and take away from that space is unique! We aren’t robots, right? So then my job is NOT to control them, but rather to inspire them. (this is way more fun and NOT exhausting!)
SO- I create a safe, premium environment for the participants to do whatever work they came to do. But the majority of what I do, I create during the live process, with the team I am working with. I have my intentions beforehand of what I am hired to accomplish. And, how I get there totally depends on the participants! I move from my list of planned exercises, and adapt them to match the dynamics of the particular individuals or team. I base this on: their strengths, their attitudes, the time frame, the obstacles, the personalities, the intention of that particular workshop, and the biggest factor: What they would like to create or take away our time together. *I have them share this, early on in our sessions.
What do they want to create?
What THEIR intention is. That is their hot button, and how you can understand them. What motivates THEM? Remember, It may be very different from what motivates you. That’s OK, as long as they ARE motivated, right? When you understand them, you can then be an inspiration to help them fulfill that goal. Inspired individuals, teams and volunteers are happier and more fulfilled. Happier more fulfilled people produce more, produce quality, last longer, and make your life as a leader better. But it doesn’t come from them having a copy of their job description. It doesn’t come from your companies expectations or demands. It comes from place inside of them, not just an external call to action anyone can deliver.
A team and the leader are in a co-creative process, hand in hand.
Neither one is more important, or more right. The leader is in that position, hopefully, because he or she has those strengths to help facilitate. But just as important are the strengths of the individuals on the team. Collectively the agenda is accomplished. The leader then, is more the funnel, creating the space and design for all to participate fully, and troubleshoot when things are not going in the direction that is valuable to all.
Friends was an American sitcom. The series was a huge hit, and is one of the most popular TV shows of all time.
Jennifer Aniston was arguably the most popular influencer or leader of the cast. But- without all the other cast mates, the show wouldn’t have been so ridiculously successful for so long. Think about that show without Phoebe, Ross or Chandler. This is true of the people that surround any leader. They are your co-stars. Your biggest assets. Your positive chemistry, and what you create with them is what will make your business or organization thrive.
If a leader or manager is looking for a lot of the glory, this is tough. As a leader- you should want your team getting that praise. They need to be the rock stars. Then they will produce more too. That is when a leader truly is great; when they teach others how to lead.