Monday, June 13, 2016

How to Manage Yourself so Your Boss Won’t Have to

What’s the difference between an employee that can’t seem to tie their own shoes without asking “mother may I” and one that can perform with a high level of autonomy and accountability?

It comes down to three things:

1. The employee must have a high degree of competence and confidence.

2. The employee needs to understand the mission and goals of the organization (clarity).

3. The employee’s manager needs to allow and encourage self-leadership. No micro-management allowed!

I learned an important model for self-leadership and empowerment from reading “Turn the Ship Around”, by former naval officer David Marquet. I also completed his online course for $75.00.
It’s called “the Ladder of Leadership”. I’ve used this model to manage myself, shared it with my boss, used it in my executive coaching work, and referenced it in our leadership programs here at the University of New Hampshire.

The model can be used to teach leaders how to “let go” and empower their employees to make their own decisions. It can also be used by leaders as a way to coach employees up the ladder. Finally, it can be used by anyone as a roadmap to self-leadership.
Here’s what it looks like from the employee’s perspective:

7. I’ve been doing…..
6. I’ve done…

5. I intent to…
4. I would like to….

3. I think….
2. I see….

1. Tell me what to do.
And here’s the manager’s view of the ladder:
7. What have you been doing?
6. What have you done?

5. What do you intend to do?
4. What would you like to do?

3. What do you think?
2. What do you see?

1. I’ll tell you what to do.
Your goal as a manager and/or employee is to work your way up the ladder, rung by rung, until you are almost always having conversations at the top rung (#7) of the ladder.

Sound easy? Of course it’s not. However, it gives you a roadmap and a way to measure your progress.
It requires an investment in employee development, a two-way commitment, and a willingness to allow for mistakes. See Say “Thank-you” to Mistakes.

What do you think? Or better yet, what have you been doing? (-:


Unknown said...

Great Article and on point, I have preached the 4 Cs with those whom I have been fortunate enough to lead. Character, Clarity, Competence and Commitment.

Jim K.

Maree Harris, Ph.D. said...

Dan, this is a great article. With a business name like People Empowered, of course I am about empowering people to be exactly like you are proposing in this article. I want them to be driven by intrinsic motivation, not external rewards and incentives. I am going to look up David Marquet's book and course. So many employees are disengaged today and really because they haven't managers who can take them through this process you describe. I subscribe to your blog and find it very inspiring.

Dan McCarthy said...

Maree -
Thanks for the comment and for subscribing!

Dan McCarthy said...

Thanks Jim!