As often happens, I was chatting about leadership. A colleague of mine was sharing a distinction on leadership that she had experienced directly. She was explaining how she worked for a wonderful leader, Glen, who trusted in her ability from the outset. Glen was not concerned about what hours she worked, how long she had for lunch, or how many coffees she had. He had an absolute belief that she would execute with excellence the role that she had been hired to do.
Glen operated from a very different position when it comes to community leadership. Trust was automatic. Break the trust and there will be consequences but he had belief in his team. What a refreshing change and something I was interested in talking about with my colleague. Through Glen trusting her, she felt empowered. She believed she did her best work for Glen and wanted to exceed his expectations. She was so grateful for the belief and trust, she reciprocated above and beyond what she was expected to do. That is the power of empowerment. And Glen just got it!
I’m sure you will agree, this is an example that is not often shared. Most leaders operate from the position of skepticism. Prove yourself and your ability and then I’ll trust you. Whether that is driven by ego, fear of failure, or other insecurities, I don’t know. There is a perception out there, particularly evident in the corporate world that the amount of hours an employee does determine their commitment and work ethic. This has always frustrated me.
This style of leadership takes courage and lots of it. Glen embraced his team and firmly trusted the decisions he made in recruiting his team. After the time and effort that is spent on researching, finding, and on boarding a team member to execute a particular job role, why wouldn’t you trust them? Makes sense when you think about it.
Of course, Glen had the processes in place to ensure the job was getting done. Glen was trusting but also smart. The reason why I wanted to share this with you is that it is a great example of leadership. It’s a great example of what can be achieved by providing a team member with a framework to work within and empowering them to utilize their skills and experience to do an exceptional job.
If only there were more leaders out there like Glen! People would love coming to work and innovation and creativity would skyrocket.