Give Everyone A Piece of Leadership

Dan Pink makes a big deal about autonomy, mastery and purpose as the three key motivators for success. I agree with each one. As a manager, you should do everything in your power to give each member of your team a little piece of leadership. Whether that be a process to oversee, a special project to helm or oversight to a group of people, give each person ownership of something they like to do (autonomy). Best if you give them something they have room to improve in and master (mastery). Bonus points if they come up with idea for what they own themselves (purpose). If you can be a trusting person and want to help people succeed, let go and give people the power to direct their own lives as often as possible. When you give your team widespread authority, it becomes your job to keep all the chips on the table. Make sure everyone is on the same page when and where possible. Different leadership means different directions – do not let your leaders completely run away on their own, or you will have fragmentation and anarchy. If only as an experiment, surrender control over every little thing and award responsibility. You’ll be surprised with the results.

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Decide When to Grow Up

Growing up is not about age or education; it’s about reaching your next milestone. After college, milestones get fuzzy and unique to each person. For some, marriage is the next logical step. For others, a job promotion. What’s your next logical step? It’s okay if you do not know right now. You’ll know when the time is right.

One thing is certain: you’re the only one who can decide when it’s time to grow up. No one else can decide for you. It’s really rare to be promoted without you asking for it first. You’re the only one who can decide when you’re done paying your dues. Likewise, successful marriages build out of mutual consent – each partner agrees it’s time to take the next step together.

Other people can make suggestions, but only you can put one foot in front of the other.