Even at age three, my grandson Jack, knows when something is a chore and when something is a game. For Jack, being told what to do makes him want to do it less. However, his parents have found an exception. When Jack is offered responsibility he thrives. The key word here, is offered, not assigned.
When it all comes down to it, the job is the job and it needs to get done. However, the way it is offered or assigned is fundamental in how Jack performs the task. A moment of whining can turn into an opportunity to prove himself.
Now you might wonder with these tips, why I keep bringing it back to lessons of adolescence. Well, it’s because we lost some things along the way, and parenting and leadership have massive parallels. Not that you are working with toddlers as a team leader. However, with leaders, like parents, a key responsibility is not only to meet the needs of their charges, but to strive to help them become someone along the way.
Listen to the following difference: this week you need to change who you are as a leader and start offering not assigning tasks.
In contrast: This week I’d like to give the challenge: to start offering tasks to your team, and see what difference it makes in your team dynamic.
It’s likely that you were more receptive to that second example as opposed to the previous assignment of it.
You might think this a waste of time: that work is work and it needs to be done. If you were just a boss that, perhaps, would be fine. However, chances are if you’re reading this, you want to be more than a boss. Leaders present responsibility as an opportunity to be desired, not a load of burden that no one wants.
Inspiring, not mandating, accountability is the key.
Good luck this week!