The following is an excerpt from an Investors.com interview with Jim Ferrell, Founding and Managing Partner of The Arbinger Institute.
Leaders often say they want their people to take responsibility, but they don’t know how to get them to do that. The real problem is leaders don’t want to give up control and let others exercise the responsibility they have.
Here’s how to create an organization based on full responsibility:
By giving your people the freedom to take responsibility, you’re giving up some power and taking the role of giving them more information. Trust them to do the right thing and to take risks.
“And own it if something goes wrong,” said Linda Galindo, a Half Moon Bay, Calif.-based leadership and accountability consultant, author and speaker. “Then there’s less finger-pointing and people are more solution-oriented.”
Watch the effect.
Responsibility isn’t just doing what you said you’d do. Pay attention to how it impacts others. If you do your part but irritate and distract others in the process, you might make it more difficult for them to focus on their share of the duties, says Jim Ferrell, founding and managing partner of the Salt Lake City-based training, consulting and coaching organization, the Arbinger Institute.
“People care most about the impact on them of what you’re doing,” Ferrell said.
Take control of your own contributions. Ferrell worked with a guy who felt like he was doing all that he was asked but didn’t feel appreciated. He was shocked when his boss’s boss told him he needed more out of him. But once he looked at how he could be more helpful, a flood of ideas came. Among them: He was sulking through the day and bringing a lot of negative energy. He lightened up and focused on what he could do to make the jobs of others easier.
“It was a shift from feeling justified in what he was doing to seeing his boss’s needs and challenges,” Ferrell said.