Don’t Ask Why, Just Empower your Leaders

I stopped asking “Why.”

When I stepped into my current role seven months ago the division was accustomed to topdown management. The margins were nothing to get excited about and since I was interim and wasn’t going to be around long I had to move quickly. I wanted to see if I could make an impact while I had the chance. I did something very different than the team was accustomed to, I didn’t give orders or ask why.

You see, I had just read L. David Marquet’s book “Turn the Ship Around.” I brought the management team in and shared the end in mind and then asked them to come back at the end of the week to tell me what they intended to do to accomplish the goals I had laid out.

IMG_0308dsdf-01I never asked why they intended to do something. Instead I would ask them to tell me about it and then I would pose questions. Questions, like “what do you think I’m thinking?” or “If you were in my seat what would you do?” This model of leadership changed the mindset of this team and they became leaders and discarded their follower mindset. We’ve also learned to stop thinking our way to action and start acting our way to new thinking.

Did it work? We just finished the quarter and comparing it to the same quarter last year we had a 388% increase in performance.

I’ll put my team of engaged leaders up against any team out there. And my interim position became permanent and I couldn’t be happier. I love my team and my company.

Be sure to click on the image and read the quotes from the leaders in my department.

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