I Just Bought You What I’ve Always Wanted

Have you ever received a gift and the first thought was, “Do they know who I am!”

It’s not that we are unappreciative for someone being thoughtful enough to bestow upon us a gift; it’s just that when they do there is an assumption that the giver would line up the surprise with who we are. Often when this occurs the person purchasing the gift is shopping according to his or her own likes, not the recipient’s desires.

Leaders who do not include their people in decision-making processes are much like those who buy gifts according to their own likes or dislikes. They set a vision (as well they should), map out the course, and decide on the vehicle in which to travel and then walks out to the team expecting them jump on board with the same enthusiasm and excitement they have. But, just like the person giving the wrong kind of gift, they wonder why the team isn’t on-board or resistant. It’s because the leader went shopping for his or her own desires without considering the DNA of the team that is going to execute the plan.

There has to be a balance in a leader not trying to get everyone’s approval on where the organization is headed (A disastrous approach) and yet have some form of inclusion with the people who will be responsible for carrying out the actual work. Fall too far to either side the organization will experience failure.

If you want to give a leadership gift to your team that will be received with the excitement you hoped for:

1. Know each individual’s strengths and weaknesses

a. Successful leaders understand there isn’t a “one size fits all” team so they assemble a team mixed with various strengths.
b. When setting the vision have in mind where team members will best fit in the plan. When you know this you can help each individual see their role in the journey, which fuels creativity and excitement that money can’t buy.

2. Set the vision; include the team on how to get there

a. Good leaders who have selected a strong team will not waste the ideas sitting just beyond their door. They go out and tap into the brainpower gathering ideas, thoughts and even ask them to share problems they see with where the team is headed.
b. Including the team not only builds in ownership, but it identifies up front any unforeseen trouble.

3. Ask!

a. The simplest way to get the right gift is to simply ask what the person would like to receive. Leaders who have not done this will be shocked at the response.
b. Individuals who are passionate about their role on the team will step up to the plate giving not just one, but many ways in which to achieve the goal. They will present the challenges and tell how to avoid them. All you have to do is ask!

So, before anyone gets their feelings hurt about how their people are being unappreciative and aren’t being team players, take a look at the gift being presented. Have you included them in the process? Has their strengths been lined up and communicated clearly? Did you meet with them to brainstorm potential risk and gather ideas? And, if you have did you ‘really’ want it or were you just going through the motions to give an illusion while steamrolling what you want right over them?

How do you include your team in setting a new path?

Robert Simmons is the President and owner of Leading Life, Coaching and Leadership Services. Leading Life offers personal/group coaching, consulting as well as leadership workshops that engage employees to take action both in the workplace and in their personal lives.

To find out more contact Robert at info@coachrobertsimmons.com

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