5 Ways Sincere Leaders Promote Irresponsibility
5 ways sincere leaders promote IRResponsibility:
- Help too soon. You tell people they aren’t responsible when you rush in to save the day. (You also suggest they aren’t capable.)
- Protect people from consequences. Don’t hang people out to dry – expect them to make things right.
- Nag, hover, and micro-manage.
- Tolerate patterns of poor performance.
- Overreact to failure. People learn to cover up when you blow up.
Responsible team members:
- Know their behaviors matter. Irresponsible people don’t care if they discourage or disadvantage others. Those who feel they don’t matter, don’t feel responsible.
- Take action without asking permission, after clarifying their role and responsibility.
- Make themselves accountable – don’t need to be pressured.
- Seek help without transferring accountability to their helpers.
- Establish their own reminders.
- Don’t expect others to pick up their slack.
- Face the music without blame or excuse. Responsible leaders share their failures without apology because they get up, rather than give up.
- Rise to challenges, thoughtfully.
- Let you know when they’re in over their heads. Responsible people don’t fake it at the expense of performance.
- Choose values over convenience. Responsible teammates act consistently, even when they don’t feel like it.
Responsibility inspires trust.
4 ways leaders promote REsponsibility:
- Acknowledge that we make ourselves responsible. Responsibility is self-imposed.
- Give responsibility, if you expect people to act responsibly.
- Delegate slowly. Don’t dump responsibility on untested team members.
- Create reporting and oversight structures when people are learning new skills.
Two questions that ignite responsibility:
Encourage people to explore what went wrong. Don’t offer quick solutions. Ask two responsibility questions.
#1. What would you like to do about that?
(Follow question #1 with silence.)
#2. What makes you think things will be different next time?
(Ask question #2 when future plans repeat past behaviors that didn’t work.)
How might leaders develop responsibility in others?
Good morning Dan. Appreciate the article today. You wrap this one up with two very good questions. I find that many times when we address some undesirable behavior, we neglect to even define what it is that we want. I had a recent discussion about the future of several team members. In the heat of the discussion, we neglected to even define what it is we wanted. We only talked about the team members being poor performers and the need to make changes. But without defining what we want, we are likely to travel down the same path. I know that was a little off point, but I couldn’t help but think about that after reading today’s post. Have a great day!
Thanks Jay. You are so right…it’s easy to get so sucked into negatives that we forget to define what we want. Good call and have a great day, yourself.
Dan, great comments. Most of what you suggest is the result of a leader who is leading other leaders, but it acting like the leader is actually leading followers rather than leading followers. When leaders realize they are leading other leaders, they don’t micromanage, swoop in too early, fail to hold people accountable, let people have the consequences they deserve, or overreact to failure.
Thanks Herb. I see what you’re saying. It’s a real shift to think of leading leaders vs leading employees, for example. Cheers..thanks again.