In an interview with the New York Times, Bill Marriott, chairman of the Marriott Hotel Group, shared this useful piece of advice. He explained that as a young officer in the US Navy he was responsible for the stewards who served in the officers’ wardroom. New to his role, and being in a military organization he told them what to do. They ignored him. He ordered them. They ignored him still. He came to realize that, even though he was in the military he could not command people to follow him as a leader, they had to want to follow him. For them to follow him he had to engage them.
So what was the lesson from this? It was four simple words – “What do you think?”
As a leader, by asking this, you are getting your ego out of the way. Leaders cannot and do not have all the answers, nor do they know everything. By asking people for their ideas, their input and their insights several things will happen: firstly, your people will see that you care about them and are interested in their opinion; secondly, you will learn something you did not know before; thirdly, you can make better and more informed decisions which your people can buy-in to as they have participated in the process By engaging with others they can engage with you, but it starts with you reaching out first.
What do you think?
To find out more and discuss this and other ways to improve leadership effectiveness and organizational performance further contact Andrew Cooke (MGSCC), call Andrew Cooke on +61 (0)401 842 673 or firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find further insights and a wealth of material on business and leadership on Andrew’s other blog – Growth & Profit Solution Blog. There are also a large number of resources at his Blue Sky GPS Website, and these can be found Blue Sky GPS Resources.