Sunday, December 7, 2008

Authority to Accomplish Work

The idea sounds very intuitive, if you want your team members to accomplish work give them the authority to accomplish their work.

This is a paradox that leaders and managers struggle with. The paradox is for the leader to give authority while the concern remains (that is often times false) if the leader gives authority they will be seen as less of a leader. Less of a leader to whom, I wrote about this in an earlier post - Team Leadership We vs. I.

Hierarchy in organizations create a zero sum game mentality. Where the view is once the team members have power, less power exists for us at the top. This model has proven to be highly ineffective. Examples are rampant from the banking industry to the auto industry.

The challenge for a leader is with the authority you have to ensure that the resources and metrics are all in line for success. Additionally leaderships responsibility is to create the teams and place the right people on that team to get things done. Many team leaders feel if they put highly skilled individual together and leave them alone magic will happen. WRONG!

Authority granted, proper team makeup, and measurable goals that line up with the leaders mission. Authority to Accomplished Work is instituted.

Give People Authority to Accomplish their Work

How often do people have the responsibility for a project and not the
authority to carry it out? As a manager, it is important that you develop a
workforce that can function with
or without you. Jim Collins, in "Good to
Great," found that leaders of high performing companies channel their ego needs
away from themselves and into the goal of building a great company. In other
companies, the leader made the success of the organization dependent on them, so
the company did not sustain its growth once the executive left. Collins
found most "level 5" leaders wanted to see the company even more successful in
the next generation with little acknowledgement that they were the foundation of
that growth.

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- Michael Cardus serves as an Adventure Consultant for Create-Learning Team Building. Mike facilitates, trains, and speaks to groups in a variety of settings including Fortune 500 Companies, small business, universities and classrooms. Currently he lives in Buffalo NY, he travels to serve your groups needs - where and when your group desires.