Here’s a simple and powerful tool that will help you take your leadership and your teams’ performance to the next level…
It comes from Carolyn Taylor’s book “Walking the Talk,” and it can instantly solve one of the most annoying problems I see leaders face…
I’m working with a leader who’s complaining about a team member. “I have to spoon feed them every detail and every step. It’s frustrating. I wish they’d just take this across the finish line so I could get my time back!”
Interesting, do they know that’s what you want?
The leader is trying to remember how they handed off the project and if that was clear.
I get it. I learned this the hard way too! Until extreme clarity becomes a habit it can be easy to neglect.
When you hand off a project, task, or something else, you have to not only be clear about what you want done, but also the authority level to execute.
When the authority level is unclear, the result is usually sluggish or poor performance (most people default to a very low authority level).
Here’s a simple framework from Walking The Talk to help:
Level 1: I decide.
Level 2: You provide input, I decide.
Level 3: We’ll discuss and decide together.
Level 4: I’ll provide input, you decide.
Level 5: You decide.
That’s it. No PDF download, no well designed wall poster. Just those 5 levels. Read it one more time and you’ll never forget it :).
Going back to my story from earlier, if the leader would be clear that what they wanted was Level 5, “You decide” (with the implicit I trust and believe in you built in) then they wouldn’t have to spoon feed them down every step of the way.
The employee is thinking the boss wants Level 1 or Level 2 work here. So they’re constantly coming back with the next thing looking for direction. And when the leader provides the guidance and sends them on their way they’re only reinforcing that perception.
Always remember: assign authority when you assign tasks. And fewer things will come bouncing back your way.