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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Relinquish Control and Share the Glory

One of the best ways for leaders to really demonstrate how much they value their employees is to relinquish control, loosen the ties and give them exposure throughout the organization. It’s a great way to prove your trust in them while at the same time helping to build their confidence and manage risks.

Recognizing your team and empowering them to represent your department demonstrates how much you value their contributions and confidence in their ability. This effort goes a lot further than merely saying “Thanks”. Although regular demonstrations of appreciation do go a long to foster engagement, commitment and pride. As Bob Sutton writes in his blog, it’s about giving as much credit to each employee as he or she deserves. The good boss goes the extra mile to make sure that employees succeed in their jobs and keep developing skills. And this includes giving them the opportunity to communicate and shine with higher levels of management in the organization.

It may feel risky to loosen control and let go of micromanaging. But a good manager empowers people in ways that make employees want to do their best to and contribute in meaningful ways. The end result is better performance, higher productivity and stronger commitment.

Of course, an employee may miss the mark from time to time. But this is an opportunity for the leader to be a coach and not a referee. Help employees to learn from mistakes and address conflicts rather than ignore or dismiss it. Model your own behavior as a way to inspire your employees to emulate you.

At the end of the day, you want to be a mentor to your employees so that they can be the best they can be and prepare them to take the company forward. Are you ready to relinquish some control?

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