Friday, May 29, 2015

The Boss Card

Nothing can kill the creative, productive, and positive morale momentum of a team as when the leader consistently plays "the boss card."  You know the drill - the team is facing a decision, and the person in the leadership role chooses to ignore the team member's insights, and/or fails to solicit the feedback of the group and makes the call completely on their own.

Why?  Assuming that the team leader played a role in putting their team together, it is incumbent that those who are brought on are brought on not only for what they can do, but also for what they know and what they perceive.  That's part of building a good team.  Hence, if a team is not good counsel, that means there was likely a miss in hiring, and that reflects back on the leader.

The people that were hired were brought in for a reason.  Trust them, and you!  Thus, I'd argue that the boss card needs to be played infrequently, and with care.

As a leader, there are indeed times when the card needs to be played.  Ultimately, the leader is tasked with driving the business, and will be held accountable for its performance.  Since these decisions do need to be owned, sometimes a leader's perspective and experience are not resident elsewhere on the team and need to trump the collective.  

So, leaders, do reserve the right and play the boss card when necessary.  But do so infrequently and with care.  A good way to do so is calling out to the team that you know it is being done, and actively soliciting their support.  

A wise man that I know used to tell his team when he made the decision to play the card that, "all votes are equal, but some votes are more equal than others." And he was admired and respected for it.  

That's how it should work.

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