Rules, restrictions, and hierarchy make us small.
Greatness assumes freedom.
Men and women languish under oppression and die for freedom. Yet, organizations often cling to heavy-handed methods to get things done.
5 benefits of freedom:
- Energy to face challenging obstacles, rather than walk away.
- Fulfillment while working hard on things that matter.
- Sacrifice for things that express purpose.
- Commitment to stick together when times are tough.
- Risk-taking when outcomes are important and choices impact results.
Free choices are more powerful than coerced decisions.
12 ways to outgrow oppressive environments:
- Emphasize values when extending freedom. Set people free, only when they’re dedicated to serve each other. Restrain or remove those who serve themselves at the expense of others.
- Strengthen connections. Freedom leads to isolation, when competent people forget how to play together. Disconnection drains energy. We’re stronger when we pull with others.
- Establish goals that matter to yourself and others. Describe the win?
- Create a playing field with boundary lines. Liberty isn’t license and freedom isn’t a free-for-all. Boundaries set us free to perform in useful ways. (Some rules and restrictions are helpful.)
- Invite feedback and input, persistently. Ask, “What do you think?” Pay attention to each other’s responses.
- Evaluate performance to agreed upon standards, frequently. Winners want to know if they’re winning.
- Confront mediocrity. How is this our best? How can we do better?
- Embrace transparency. Secrets offend freedom and disrespect teammates.
- Share success stories and lessons learned.
- Give authority to control schedules. If you want them to own their job, let them control their schedule. Freedom and flexibility go hand-in-hand.
- Create options – give choices.
- Eliminate hierarchy – expect responsibility.
What does freedom at work look like?
How much freedom can you give at work and still get things done?