Letting Followers Innovate

Letting Followers Innovate

Every now and then a member of our team will come to us with an idea of a new process, method or procedure to implement that they feel will get the job done better, or will be easier, or, in the best of cases, both. As leaders we often feel an internal conflict in this situation. We want to foster innovation, but also are concern the risks and resistance that come along with change. My advice is to encourage your team to innovate, with some actively engaged leadership on your part.

It can be difficult to determine sometimes if there really is a benefit to be gained by implementing a follower’s suggestions or if they are merely whining about the status quo. A simple way that I have found to find the answer is to allow the follower to implement the change, but to make them take the lead for implementing it, i.e. you will let them make their change, but they have to do all the research on how to make it happen, assess the potential benefits and risks, come up with the plan to train the rest of the team on how to implement the change, and measure how successful the change has been.  Followers who are enthusiastic about the change will embrace the opportunity presented to them and the whiners will simply allow the status quo to continue.

As the boss, you’ll still need to provide them with appropriate guidance and direction as they develop their plan. You should let them know up front what you consider a successful outcome would be as well as any risks that you believe are unacceptable to assume in this endeavor. You should be clear if there are other processes or procedures that are off-limits to change as they consider their path forward.

Set a definite time and date that they need to come back to you to review their progress and decide if you will go forward with their initiative.  Give them a list of items they must address in that review to get your go-ahead.

Once you’re ready to let them implement, don’t immediate throw out the old way of doing things in favor of this one. If possible, run parallel processes and compare the results of the two ways of doing things. This will definitely be a little more work, but may be worth it to be able to compare your results. If parallel efforts aren’t possible, set a clear trial period, such as a month or 90 days to assess the results. Make sure the person proposing the initiative determines how to measure if the new method is successful and that you approve of the assessment.

If, after the trial period, the new way is clearly superior, or easier to accomplish, or has some other benefits, adopt the new method. If the new method was not successful, perform an honest assessment with the proposer of where it fell short, what lessons learned came of it, and if addressing those issues could result in a successful outcome. If the answer is yes, let them go back, make the adjustments, re-propose and try again.

What are other ways you’ve fostered innovation on your team while still managing risk?

Be Braver than the Bureaucracy!

Sometimes as a leader you come into an organization or team that has already been established for a long period of time and you see a need to make some changes in order to better achieve your strategic objectives. Often these teams have their own processes and personalities that may or may not be responsible for (or a detriment to) the success of the team. Depending on how large your team is and where you fit in the larger organization, you may find that making a meaningful change to the way the team operates is a Herculean task when you face the legions of people in the bureaucracy who will resist change. This will require patience, tenacity and an ability to be braver than bureaucracy!

Some tips to help you fight bureaucratic inertia if you need to make some changes:

Don’t implement change simply for the sake of change. Have a rationale for why the change is important. Is the team failing at an important goal? Have the strategic objectives or mission of the organization changed over time, but the processes haven’t adapted to the new roles?

Determine if the current processes are meeting your strategic objectives.  If they seem to be adequate but could use some improvement, solicit help from your team members. Describe the results you want and see if the team can optimize the processes on their own. If the current way of doing things is failing miserably, you may have to throw it all out and implement a new method.

Recognize that there may be some emotional attachment to the current processes. You could be “upsetting the apple cart” for someone. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the changes you believe are necessary, but understand you’ll have some smoothing to do until the team fully embraces the new way of business. If major change eliminates a task that a team member was passionate about, find a new role for them and emphasize the importance of that role to the big picture.

Expect resistance. There will be some who are really entrenched! They’ll try to wait you out, go around you or even go over your head to prevent your changes from being implemented. Building a good relationship with your functional counterparts and your own boss while providing a rational basis for the change you want to achieve in terms of meeting the strategic goals of the organization is a good way to get your colleagues and superiors to re-direct the subversive types back to you so you can deal with their concerns.

Take baby steps. Change doesn’t have to happen all at once. Making a small change and letting people get used to it can help silence the naysayers when they see it really isn’t that bad. If you’re not in a crisis and have the time, a series of small steps may get you there faster than one big step.

Figure out how you will measure if the change you make is having a positive effect. There might be a lot of people waiting for your initiative to fail so they can say I told you so. Show how the incremental changes you have made are making incremental improvements towards meeting not just your team’s objectives, but the overall strategic objectives of the organization.

Progress can’t occur without change. Most people realize this but are still reluctant to embrace change because uncertainty can be scary. There will be some who will put roadblocks in your path and try to undermine you (possibly even members of your own team) to avoid dealing with that uncertainty. Sometimes it may feel easier to give up on change to avoid fighting the battles, but you have to be brave! Use your leadership skills to communicate with your team and understand their apprehension. Show them how you’ll face the uncertainty together as all work towards success!

What Comedy Teaches Us About Leadership

These are two things that sound like they don’t go together; after all, we’re told to set a good example, don’t be sarcastic, set and maintain standards, etc. What I’m talking about here is “improvisational comedy”, specifically one particular aspect called “Yes, and…”

Hopefully you’re still reading and haven’t decided that I’ve gone off the deep end.

“Yes, and…” is a rule in improv that encourages each individual participant to accept what the other players have set up in the scene and also sets the expectation each member will add their own contribution to further advance the story. This usually results in an extremely pleasant (and hilarious) experience for the players and the audience.

Compare this to many meetings and working groups that we all have attended in the workplace that are often not pleasant or hilarious. There are often individuals or factions pushing to have their preferred solution accepted without regard to other stakeholders’ or customers’ interests.  Put a few of these individuals or factions in a room together to come up with a way forward on a problem and it can get downright hostile sometimes. It takes a strong leader to keep people in line and focused on collaboration instead of confrontation.

Implementing a “Yes, and…” rule at your next team working session can foster a more collaborative attitude.  No one can start a new idea, they can only add to what has been previously proposed. Don’t allow your team members to outright dismiss another’s idea, but instead focus them on adding to it to make it better from their perspective. Throw nothing away, keep building on what is there and making it better.

There are two advantages to this:

1)      It forces your team members to listen critically to what others are saying and focus on improvement, not simply advocating their own ideas.

2)      It lets your team members feel like they’re being heard as they add their own contributions.

This isn’t easy to maintain. You may find your team slipping back into competing with each other and settling back into confrontational attitudes. Stay strong! Keep reminding your team that the goal at this meeting is collaboration and keep emphasizing the “Yes, and…” mentality to get the best ideas to the surface. It doesn’t have to go exactly like an improv scene. As the leader you can decide to toss something counterproductive out if you feel it is holding the team back from reaching a solution. Keep your team building on each others’ ideas, strengthening them and combining the best ones to get to a solution that achieves your goal!

Your results probably won’t be as hilarious as those at a comedy club, but hopefully everyone will leave feeling a little more positive than after a meeting that has been confrontational.

You need to choose your first attempt at this a little carefully. It probably works best at the beginning of a new project or in a phase where you are trying to define the structure of something you haven’t attempted before. Try getting your team to use the “Yes,and…” rule next time you are brainstorming solutions to a problem or trying to refine the possible courses of action you will take to achieve your next goal. Tell us about your experience in the comments!

Work and Fun

We’ve all had a boss who wants everyone on the team to be a tight knit group of friends, enjoying each others’ company and hanging out outside of work.  He’s the boss who is always talking about “making work fun” and is always coming up with another “Mandatory Fun” event outside of work that he expects everyone to attend.

And there are some leaders who don’t want to see any fun in the workplace. They prefer that everyone is focused, productive and have as few distractions as possible.  Both of these extremes usually end up alienating people and generally reducing the morale and productivity of the team, exactly the opposite effect the boss was hoping for.

I’m a big believer that allowing people to be relaxed and have fun in the workplace is a great thing that improves results and attitudes overall, but it has to come about in a natural way. Trying to force fun down people’s throats is about as successful as never letting them enjoy a moment.

The amount of “fun” that you, as a leader, should allow to happen on your team can be difficult to gauge.  A lot has been written about organizational culture and how to foster it.  One of the best things you can do for your organizational culture, especially if your organization is new, is to let traditions form and evolve organically. Even older organizations can find new life in their traditions by letting them adapt to the ideas of newer members while still maintaining the original tenets behind the tradition.

As a leader you can let your team develop an organizational culture under your watchful eye and guiding hand. Some tips keep in mind as you let your people build their traditions:

1)      As a leader you are responsible for creating an inclusive environment, free from harassment and bias. It can be a short trip from everyone having a good time in a joking way to someone crossing the line and splitting your team apart.

2)      Set the example. Propose an informal event either during or outside of office time and host it. If being the social director isn’t your thing, chances are one of your team members are and would most likely enjoy getting the ball rolling. Encourage others to put together activities that share their interests with the rest of the team.

3)      Be respectful of people’s time outside of work. Short notice events can cause havoc if a member of your team suddenly needs to rearrange a pickup for their kids or miss one of their events. There are certainly times where the job calls for personal sacrifice, but informal social events probably don’t fall into that category.

4)      Don’t get caught up in how many people participate. If only a few people show up but it’s a fun time, word will get around and more people will show up next time.

The organizations I’ve been in that have had the best balance in their culture are the ones who allow fun to happen, but don’t try to force it in a certain direction. Don’t forget, one of your duties as a leader is to make sure appropriate standards of behavior are maintained at events and in the office.

What are some of the ways you balance work and fun on your team?

Networking and Building Professional Relationships

By Tobias Wolter (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Tobias Wolter (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A lot of people may not consider networking a leadership topic, but it’s more important than you might think.  As a leader, your responsibilities may actually exceed your direct span of control. You may not have the authority or resources at your disposal to achieve the results you’re being held accountable for. In cases like this you’ll need to leverage the contacts you have and their resources to find ways to get to a successful result. If you haven’t developed a network, you won’t have the contacts you need in place and you certainly won’t have the kind of professional relationship in place where you can request their help.

Networking often gets a bad reputation as it can have the connotation of people in business attire milling about an airport hotel ballroom passing out business cards and desperately hoping that somebody calls them with an opportunity. There’s a more positive way to look at networking though; you’re building a group of people with different skills and experience that you can pull together whenever you need to successfully achieve a goal.

Tips for building your network:

Focus on connecting with people in a way that you can offer them something of value, whether that is your time, expertise or your contacts.  Approaching people in a way that conveys you are only looking to get something from them meets with limited success and is unlikely to leave a strong, positive, lasting impression that you have something to offer.

Attend a conference in your field, or in a field that interests you but may not be directly related to your current projects. Conferences can be a great way to find people who are facing similar challenges to yours and provide you with new ideas and a support network to help you both break through to achieve your goals.

Become a mentor to a younger colleague or a peer who is not under your direct supervision. Mentoring allows you to expand your network to an up-and-coming talent pool while providing the value of your experience to people interested in learning. You can also seek out a more experienced mentor for yourself, but it’s very rewarding to give back some of your time and experience to a younger colleague.  (More on the benefits of mentoring in the post “Who Are You a Mentor To?”)

Seek to make connections between people in your network. Chances are you know someone in your network who needs some help with something and you also know someone who can help them. Put those two people together! Your network will grow stronger by connecting the people in it to each other instead of just having a connection to you. If you can get people together who are looking to collaborate, chances are those people will come to you next time they’re looking for a connection since you were able to deliver before. Everyone loves the guy who can connect them with the people they need to achieve their goals!

Reconnect with people in your network on a regular basis. Keep up with what their current projects and areas of interest are.  Actively look for areas you can collaborate with people on.  A solid professional network is like a muscle and must be exercised to stay strong and flexible. If you don’t use it, it will atrophy and won’t be there when you need to call on it.

No matter where or who you choose to network with, remember that your goal is to build a strong network of people who can help each other out.  Focus more on providing value to your new contacts as opposed to getting something from them. Those strong professional relationships will lead to others and will put you at the center of a robust network of individuals who can be called upon when you need them!

Setting Goals Successfully

By Mike Spille (Flickr: CrossingFinishLine) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Mike Spille (Flickr: CrossingFinishLine) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s a new year and a great opportunity to set some goals for the coming months. We should all be assessing and setting our goals on a regular basis with some regular self-reflection, but if you’re looking to take on a new challenge, there’s no time like the present! It’s easy to get excited about a new goal but after a few weeks lose momentum on it. Here are some tips to setting effective goals and positioning yourself to achieve them successfully:

  1. Goals should be achievable. There’s a difference between achievable and “realistic”. If someone tells you that your goal isn’t “realistic” they’re probably trying to spare you the disappointment if you don’t achieve it. Don’t worry if your goal is hard to reach, just make sure it is achievable. A goal that breaks the laws of physics may not be achievable, but a goal that might require you to raise a large amount of resources in a short time is certainly achievable, although it may be difficult.
  2. Determine the end state you want to achieve. It should be clearly defined so that you will know when you’ve achieved it. Vague, open-ended goals can leave you drifting without ever making progress. It’s better set multiple narrow goals with clear definitions of success than to set a broad goal you may never know if you achieve.
  3. Set the timeline for achieving your desired end state.
  4. Create a method for measuring your progress based on the end state and take measurements regularly. Setting intermediate objectives can be a good way to chart your progress towards reaching your goal.
  5. Develop specific actions you will take to achieve your goal. Set aside the time in your schedule to do them. Use your calendar, apps or other tools to help build the habit of performing these actions when they need to be done.
  6. Track your progress according to your method and regularly assess how well doing. If you’re not making progress at the desired rate you may need to adjust your specific actions to speed your progress, or adjust your timeline to match your current pace of progress.

It’s a great thing to have multiple goals in your life, but keep in mind the amount of time you have to spend on achieving your goals. I have a slightly bad habit of setting too many goals for myself and not being able to devote enough time to them all. When I find that happening, I prioritize my goals and put one aside until I can devote the time to it so that I can achieve it to a degree of satisfaction I am happy with.

Finally, keep your goal in mind as you go through your daily business. Assess if your daily actions and decisions are contributing to meeting that goal, or hindering it? Are you spending your time on things that are taking time or effort away from meeting that goal?

The best part of setting a goal is when you achieve it. Not only do you get the pride and satisfaction of achieving something that was important to you, you get to set a new goal and take on a new challenge!

What’s your goal for 2014?

Breaking the Bubble

I, Brocken Inaglory [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I, Brocken Inaglory [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the great things about being a leader is we get to guide others down a path to achieving some really important goals and share in the success. If we’re really lucky, we get to pick our own team and can surround ourselves with high-quality talent who shares our vision. We can choose people who think like we do, have similar experiences and backgrounds to our own, and approach problems from a similar perspective. This can be a great thing to enhance team cohesiveness and unity, and let’s be honest, it’s nice when people agree with us and support our ideas. But it can come with a disadvantage as well. Surrounding ourselves with like minded people can narrow the scope of ideas presented on the team and potentially throw out an optimum solution to a problem without it being considered fully.

There have even been several high profile government and corporate scandals in the last few years where one of the root causes was “groupthink” and a reluctance to put forward or entertain alternate viewpoints. While I don’t think most leaders are headed down a road to ruin, I do think we can all benefit from opening the aperture on what we’re doing and making sure we aren’t “living in a bubble”.

Some things you can do to “Break the Bubble”:

  1. Engage in active listening. Really listen to what your team is saying. Are there dissenting opinions? Don’t let team members (or yourself) shoot down dissent without taking some time to think it through.
  2. Encourage critical thinking. Ask tough questions; think about potential outcomes and impacts. Challenge your team to do the same.
  3. Seek out alternate perspectives. If everyone on your team is in agreement, make your pitch to someone who’s not on your team to get a fresh look at it. Someone who isn’t so close to the solution may be able to ask some insightful questions or highlight a risk area you hadn’t seen.
  4. Ask the quiet guy in the back of the room what he thinks. Some people aren’t always as outgoing as the rest. They often have good ideas and just need a little push to share them. Some well thought out insights from someone who has been listening to what everyone else has been saying can sometimes break a problem wide open!

Ultimately, you’re the boss and decisions rest with you. Just because sought out some alternative perspectives doesn’t mean you have to follow them. Use the ideas you think are valuable and make sure to give credit where credit is due. Great things come from expanding your worldview, so “break the bubble” and see what else is out there!

Honest Self-Assessment

By ESO (http://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1307a/) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By ESO (http://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1307a/) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Evaluating ourselves is never easy to do, but it’s a critical part of being a leader. As times, technology and situations change and as people come and go from your team it is essential to ask yourself if you’re being successful at meeting your objectives or even if you could do them just a little bit better.

Several years ago I got a very valuable piece of feedback from my boss (If you’re keeping score at home, it’s the same boss from “You Can Lead, But Can you Follow?”). He told me my approach to persuading others was like hitting them in the head with a two by four. I had always known that I was pretty direct and often prided myself on being a “straight shooter” so I didn’t take that as a negative, and my boss didn’t mean it as a criticism, just some honest feedback. About a year later I was working on a project that required building consensus among some other organizations and getting a final approval from a relatively high level decision maker. I was having a hard time building that consensus and couldn’t understand why, as I had mountains of data that supported my team’s position. As the days dragged on with no progress I finally had to ask myself the question “Why isn’t my approach working?” Just asking the question opened the door for me to really evaluate the situation.  As I delved into the problem, I realized the senior leadership concerns were not about the data but were more along the lines of “is it worth the strategic and political risk to head down this path?” I realized I needed to build their trust that my team had the skills to assess and successfully manage those risks as they came up.  I remembered the boss’ comments from the year before and realized that there were areas I could improve upon in developing professional relationships. For the project to succeed I had to find a way to relate to the other principals in a way that built trust and confidence in the people on my team, not our understanding of the facts.

Honest self-assessment is extremely difficult but is the key to any true personal development. It does not need to be negative; in fact, it should come from a place of objectivity as opposed to trying to portray yourself in a positive or negative light. In my situation above, self-assessment was forced on me as I was hitting a brick wall trying to get the mission accomplished, but ideally we should all engage in self-reflection periodically to determine our strengths and areas for improvement as part of continuous personal development.

There are all kinds of opportunities for self-assessment. It can be as simple as comparing your performance to the goals given to you by your organization or that you set yourself. Did you meet them? Exceed them? Fall short in some areas but succeed in others? Make some notes on your self-evaluation and compare them to the feedback you’re getting from your boss or your team.

Look for the root causes of why you either met your goals or fell short. Don’t settle for the easy answer, look for alternate explanations. Once you think you’ve found the cause, dig deeper. Keep asking “why?”. Once you’ve fully assessed the root causes, are any of them areas requiring personal development?

Finally, there is a difference between second guessing your decisions and honest self-assessment.  This kind of self-evaluation is best done with a clear head and looking towards the future, so don’t dwell on the results of past decisions, focus on what your goals are and how you can best achieve them. It’s all about improvement!

Time is Precious

By aussiegall from sydney, Australia (Dr Who  Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By aussiegall from sydney, Australia (Dr Who Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I was having lunch with a friend I worked with a few years back. He was talking about a professional education course he was working on but was having trouble between work and family finding the time to complete the reading assignments. My advice was to carve out an hour a day, three or four days a week to get it done, even if he had to lock himself in the bathroom to do it. He laughed and said he’d give that a try.  Managing time is challenging for most of us, but it’s extremely important that we make time for the things we believe are important and try to spend as little time as possible on the things that are necessary, but not moving us closer to achieving our strategic goals.

This idea extends to our workplaces as well, starting with the boss. If you’re like most of us, your boss’ time is limited, especially the time you get to spend with him discussing your projects. Show up organized; tell him your goal for the meeting right off the bat, and try not to make him make decisions that you are capable of making on your own. If your boss likes to make the decisions, be prepared with options for him, make your recommendations and express your preferences as the one who has to execute the work.  Show that you value his time and he’ll probably be willing to delegate more authority for these kinds of decisions to you in the future. If you’re lucky enough to be the boss, this one is easy for you, but now your challenge is to develop this behavior in your team.

It’s also just as important to respect your follower’s time. Reduce busy work and administrative tasks to the bare minimum. Make sure meetings are productive and have an agenda. Keep meetings on task; don’t let side issues creep in. Delegate decisions and action appropriate to their level of responsibility and skill so that you don’t have to micromanage. You want to be able to focus on end results and where you want to take your team.

Finally, and most importantly, you have to respect your own time. Build your schedule to spend your time on the items that are the highest priority to you. Like many concepts related to leadership, this is simple to talk about, but often difficult in practice. In any endeavor where we need to interact with other people, we have to live with constraints. One of the ways I work with schedule constraints is by placing key strategic tasks that are very important to me outside of the regular work day. I review my notes every evening after dinner before I get involved in anything else. I don’t always do anything about them, but I always review them.  I would prefer to do it right as I get into the office every morning, but I never know what is going to happen and most days something gets in the way, so I moved it to a time I knew would work.

Time is precious. Respect other’s time, but just as importantly, respect you own.

What tools do you use to manage and protect your time?

Think Strategically, Act Strategically

By User:Nina Silaeva (личная работа) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By User:Nina Silaeva (личная работа) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I was at dinner with a group of people this week and we were discussing a project that one of them was currently engaged in. It’s an extremely large effort with lots of people, several geographically distributed locations, many levels of management and some very high stakes on a successful outcome.  The discussion was centered on some creative differences that one of the geographically separated locations had with what “headquarters” wanted to see.  While differences of opinion are expected on large teams, this division had created a firestorm of emails, phone calls and meetings that were grinding progress to a halt. What was being proposed was unique and expedient, which are often good qualities, but were ultimately counter to the strategic vision of what the expected product would be. At some point an appropriate leader in the corporate chain would step in and make a decision in favor of the strategic vision; the question was, when and how high up the chain would it need to go?

This got me thinking about all the things we have to deal with every day as leaders and how we can ensure that we are being true to the organizations strategic vision. While true strategic thinking is not easy, it is often just as difficult to act strategically in support of our vision. Acting strategically means maximizing team effort on achieving our vision and minimizing effort on tasks or projects that don’t support it.  It also means that, as leaders, when we inevitably have to resolve conflict on the team, we need to do so in a way that best provides for a successful outcome of the strategic vision instead of what may be the most expedient way to end the conflict. We all make decisions every day that have an impact on achieving successful strategic outcomes; some questions we can ask ourselves to help prepare for these kinds of decisions:

  1. What are the strategic outcomes we want?
  2. How will we know if we are achieving them?
  3. Are all of our efforts directly or indirectly related to achieving the strategic outcomes?
  4. Can we stop doing the things that don’t support the strategic outcomes and refocus resources?
  5. Have the strategic outcomes been communicated to every member of the team?

I think the last question is an extremely important one. If the team understands and buys into the strategic vision, it is more likely they will adhere to it as they accomplish their tasks and provide recommendations. If they incorporate the strategy in their own problem solving, they’ll be more successful without requiring input from the leader.

The message I want to leave you with is, be true to your vision! If you believe in it, coordinate your decisions and your team’s actions to achieve it. Anything less will leave you feeling short of achieving the goal you started out with. You thought this was a great idea when you came up with it and it most likely still is. Give it the respect it deserves and make it a reality!