As we’ve moved toward creating a “Leader-Leader” culture from the “Leader-Follower” culture in place at most organizations I can now say the most important thing looking back was establishing an environment for my team where they felt safe. I wanted them to be willing to take risks and not worry about being wrong. Too often people worry about being the only one who needs clarification or they think they are the only one out of the loop and they don’t want to be perceived as incompetent. I wanted a culture where they could admit a mistake or that they don’t know an answer and still be sure it’s going to be ok — failure is an opportunity to learn.
As a result, my team is now willing to harness the power of diverse ideas and openly discuss them with their teammates without fear of how they will be perceived because we are better together. They bring in more revenue and are much more effective and happy. This has been the foundation for our success.
We did this by implementing an intent-based leadership philosophy inspired by David Marquet’s writings. The approach inspires employees to take ownership and greater accountability in problem solving and actions to improve performance for clients.
Related blog post:
One Thing You Must Know as a Company Leader