The Old Bucket
One of the buckets of leadership is a bit ratty and beat up. It’s rusty and dented but can still have some effect, even though, over time, it becomes less and less useful and becomes more prone to be full of holes.
In this method, managers are constantly making employees prove themselves. They have their way of doing things and make the employees follow it. If employees don’t do things their way or try it their way and fail, these managers limit the employee. Over time this leads to bad morale, low productivity, and a stressful work environment for managers as well as the employees.
The Adventure Bucket
The other bucket, however, is full of possibilities. It’s shiny and colorful and made of space-age polymers. It’s not perfect, but it will hold up to a lot.
With this bucket, leaders trust their employees to make wise decisions. They take time to develop a vision and a roadmap and lead their employees on an adventure where the employees have the freedom to find the best way to accomplish the leaders goals (and their own) using their strengths and skills. If employees fall short on a project, the leader talks to the employee to find out what they need to succeed. Employees feel energized and motivated at work and feel empowered and, over time, become leaders themselves.
The Work Adventure
The more we try to control people, put them in boxes, and have them do mundane, follow-my-orders type tasks, the more stressful the work becomes for managers and employees both and the lower the productivity is.
The more we believe in our employees and ourselves and plan a course and let everyone do what they do best, the more exciting and engaging the work will be and the more your employees will be ready to go on any work adventure you have in store. They will generate more ideas and be more ready to share them. They will produce work of higher quality. They will be more excited about coming into work and doing something great.
If you want employees who love their work, turn your workplace into a place of adventure where you’ve set the course, but you work with your team to find out how to get there. It’s a proven way to make great employees and it will turn a humdrum job into an amazing adventure.