Leaders Seek Ideas for Improvement

Continuing on the ways Folkman and Zenger saw leaders become more effective:

They became “change agents” and they solicited teammates’ ideas to facilitate this change. This strategy fits right in to our company strategy of becoming leaner.

Leaders who strive to maintain the status quo can lose respect. They tend to be stuck in their ways, resist suggestions and discourage creativity.

When leaders adopt the strategy of finding a better way, push that out to the team, become responsive to suggestions for improvement and support creativity by giving new ideas a shot, energy is created.

I find that leaders have to be aggressive about seeking new ways and new ideas. Most folks are nervous about saying, “I think the ways we do things could be improved.” Why? Because most of the time, those kind of requests are greeted with a closed mind.

I read recently that leaders who only want the “backs and hands” of the members on their team will prove to be less effective than those who realize the whole person – brains as well as back and hands – comes to work each day and longs to be included in decisions, to be free with ideas and to have a say about how things are done.

Which kind of leader are you?



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Posted in: Communication, Leadership, Lean

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