• Steve Doughty

What would you do?

That's not a question for leaders, it is a question to ask those seeking leadership.

People infrequently come to leaders for answers, mostly they are coming to leaders for affirmation. If they ask us what we think or what they should do, and we tell them, several opportunities may have been missed.

"What would you do?" is a phrase that will revolutionise our leadership and the outputs of our teams. Firstly it will help us let go of making all the decisions and the risk of becoming a bottleneck in our organisation. Leadership is not about being the authority and the one who knows best. Leadership draws solutions from others, gives them the space to explore potential outcomes from their ideas, and trusts that they will do a great job.

"What would you do?" breeds creativity, provides value and spreads the workload among those who have the drive and energy for the specific outcomes we are looking for.

Asking the question is however not enough. What follows is listening, then trusting that some exploration will be necessary and letting people get to what it is they are trying to achieve without being watched and told what to do.

Guidance and affirmation are necessary along the way. Accountability is also required and feedback on progress. As leaders, we need to be reassured that what we have let go of is being handled appropriately, budgets are being adhered to and the solutions are emerging.

Let's ask the question "what would you do?" each time we are asked for our input. We will discover what lies within our team. Respect will increase, engagement will increase, productivity will increase and the team dynamic will flourish.

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