Thursday, June 19, 2008

Leadership Focusing on Outcomes

We discussed a few weeks ago about defining outcomes and empowering your team members to get on with the work to get the job done. Last week I had a brush with a team whose manager/leader was very dedicated to achieving his outcomes and those he had set for his team. While working with the team it became apparent that most of the team were less than satisfied with their leader and his way.

We had spent a few days working through some rather complicated scenarios with a group of eight members from the team. Like many teams the members were quite diverse in their skills and attitudes to their work. While I was leading the workshop I was observing each member and their characteristics and as usual there was the guy who asks lots of questions, the guy who looks bored, the guy who always asks why etc. From this point of view this group was pretty typical.

The leader of the team came in to observe his team and two minutes later had singled out two members and sent them packing. Well!! that was a little interesting. Now the team were down two people and the whole team would have to now do extra to achieve their task.

Later I questioned the leader on why he had eject the two members, his response surprised me, these guys weren't paying attention and doing it the way I expected. To this I replied perhaps we could have waited and appraised how these members applied their new skills within the team and did they assist the team reaching the goal.

Does it particularly matter which way a job is done if the team can deliver the outcome. If there are critical issues that must be addressed or a certain way some points must be done, then it is up to us as leaders to explain this when we deliver our vision.

Next time you want to step in and make a move with your team members stop and consider is the outcome in danger, if not allow the team to do things their way, they'll appreciate it!

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