8 Ways to Find Freedom
Freedom ignites passion, imagination, and initiative; control destroys it. Freedom feeds vitality; control oppresses and limits. Freedom, however, is dangerous.
Freedom is essential because their expertise exceeds yours, in their area. If you know more than everyone on your team, you have a weak team.
Effective leaders set people free.
#1. Freedom regarding method not mission. Free environments require mission-clarity between individuals and organizations. Every free environment is mission driven or it’s confused, diluted, and ineffective. Furthermore, all participants must know how personal mission aligns with organizational mission.
#2. Freedom needs the big picture. Silos create enemies. Free people know how their behaviors and performance impacts others. They know how they matter.
#3. Freedom necessitates constant feedback. Freedom without feedback is paranoia. People without feedback develop personal, self-serving agendas. It’s their only option.
#4. Freedom requires information and transparency. Secrets indicate manipulation; transparency creates confidence, responsibility, and accountability. In free environments everyone knows everything they need to know.
#5. Freedom calls for equipping. Don’t bother developing people if you aren’t going to set them free to perform with new skills. Developing people sets them free to serve others.
#6. Freedom requires responsibility or anarchy results.
#7. Freedom thrives on clarity. Confusion ends freedom because it feeds chaos.
#8. Freedom is protected by cross-functional teams. Individuals acting independently destroy organizational freedom. People responsible to others can be set free.
Freedom is dangerous. Putting Band-Aids on old systems is futile. Freedom takes time.
How can leaders step toward free organizations?
What hinders free environments?
Post in a picture by Larry Coppenrath: “Finding Freedom”
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Great insight. How is professional knowledge passed on without apprenticeship which by definition is a structure of method?
Structure that focuses on bringing out the best in others helps set them free.
In other words, we can apprentice people in order to get them conform or to set them free to find their best … and of course alignment with organizational mission.
What do you think?
Thanks so much for joining in today.
Nice message. I believe it aligns nicely with your previous blog.
Leaders that control and limit are typically not confident and feel threatened by the excellence in their team. My experience has shown they typically hold back information and communication from those they are threatened by (to maintain their power) and their teams generally degrade over time.
Thank you for sharing your insights.
I’ve found it took some personal attitude adjusting to embrace the idea that others should succeed more than me, in their areas of expertise.
Rather than being threatened by the success of others we must rise up and energize their success.
Excellent, excellent. Dan, I don’t know how you do it, but you sure do have the gift for summing up not-so-simple things so nicely!
I remember a time when it was far too common for folks to have never been a part of an empowered team – including the leadership – who were often just thrown into their roles. The tough part about that is, that this fundamentally crucial set of truths you outline here, can slip by, unlearned, for a few rounds or more (or worse, never).
Thanks for the good word. Encouragement feels good.
The “just throw them in” approach is still alive and well, at least in the leaders I talk too frequently feel like they are thrown in…
Perhaps we talk too much about skills and competencies and not enough about mission and vision.
YOu have my best,
I like the point number 4: Freedom requires information and transparency. Transparent organisations have confident people and sustainable performance. Information dissemination plays a major role in creating transparency in the system. In transparent organisations, each one flourishes and grows. On the other hand, organisations where people are more concerned about individual development, they block, distort and delay the information. So, leaders should step forward by ensuring timely and all level information flow without reservations. I strongly believe that it is the leadership belief that hinders free environment. Leaders have capacity to make change happen. People at lower in hierarchy have less or perhaps no power to influence people, no matter how much they are right.
I think freedom with purpose fosters creativity and innovation. But freedom without purpose destroys creativity and innovations. Therefore, organisations and leaders should connect people with purpose before creating environment of freedom and autonomy.
Enjoyed this post. Love the connection between leaders and freedom. It begs us to move beyond control.
Perfect – I love this post.
– Freedom needs the big-picture and clearity!
Yes, reality will set us free – again and again. It will never fail. If we just dare to see reality we will be surprised how “not the least dangerous” things are. Very freeing indeed!
Often we have a false notion that the world will go under if we have to face reality. It won’t happen! On the contrary; the world becomes better.
Thank you Dan for reminding!
Dan, thank you for this post. As my partners and I are trying to build a workplace that offers a lot of freedom, we are finding it challenging to create the structures that balance freedom with responsibility.
We are definitely struggling with #2 – big picture, #3 – feedback, and #8 – cross-functional teams. This post has helped me to put a finger on these issues and think of some quick next steps.
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