Far too often we view leaders and dictators. In the military, in sports and in business there is no shortage of “leaders” giving orders. The problem is they more than likely aren’t real leaders.
When leaders are involved in telling people what to do, it wastes their time and takes them away from the important activities they should be focused on. It is a rookie mistake for leaders to take on the role of the decisive dictator. Don’t get distracted with the “how to” when working with your team to execute.
In addition to the distraction, when leaders do the telling they are not growing their people. The employees are not developing new skills or gaining confidence. The effect of a leader who is always giving detailed orders is that they are teaching their employees a leaned helplessness. Instead leaders should set the course but spend little time telling people how to get there.
There is a method of training that says to tell the student 3 times for the lesson to catch on. It goes like this, “tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them and tell them what you told them”. The same is true when helping to guide your employees down the path of better decision making. In addition to the rule of three you should use the rule of five.
The rule of five is that you ask five questions for every inquiry. After you do this 3 times the employee will start to ask themselves the questions and eventually have the knowledge and confidence to decide how to get to the end result of the course you have set. Doing this can save you five to fifteen hours per week, which you could then spend refining you organizations strategy for growth.
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