There was a boss who complained that everyone around him was a “potted plant.” He couldn’t understand why his managers wouldn’t take charge of an idea or come up with solutions. In his management meetings, if a manager suggested how to handle a problem or come up with solution, he would tell them how they could do it better or differently. Or, he would argue that they were wrong.
He didn’t realize he was killing commitment and innovation.
Managers retreated from taking the risk of speaking up for fear of being called out for having a bad idea. They just sat back and listened. Or, as executive coach Marshall Goldsmith says, they lost their commitment. Goldsmith says when a boss adds comments or “has to be right”, s/he immediately causes “their ideas to become your ideas.” When that happens, their commitment to making an idea happen diminishes because it is no longer their idea. They don’t have ownership. Thus, innovation, decision-making comes to a screeching halt.
In Goldsmith’s effective leadership skills DVD training, he teaches how leaders can make the behavior changed needed to empower their teams to innovate and solve problems.
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