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 “
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
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
“Thank-you” to Mistakes

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