The higher you grow in the organization, the more you work in sound bites. Process fast to look smart. Draw conclusions where others see only questions. Conclude with conviction. Make decisions and move the process along. Ask your team to “net it out.” You don’t need all that detailed information. Or do you?
The devil still basks in details.
“It’s entirely possible that you can process and file more information than anyone who has come before you. And quite likely that this filing is preventing you from growing and changing and confronting the fear that’s holding you back.”~Seth Godin, “I Get It“
Beware of Information Underload
Resist the urge to look smart. Stop filling in the blanks with lack of understanding. Don’t micromanage. Do get smarter.
- you know the type (she’s not “high-potential”)
- the market won’t react well (it didn’t last time)
- customers will hate it (they don’t like change)
- this project won’t work (because a similar endeavor failed)
- the union will resist (because they always do)
- senior management won’t go for it (because it seems too risky)
It’s Not What You Know, But How You Know
Asking well encourages truth. Asking well empowers.
Empowerment doesn’t mean working in the dark.
Your team has
- weird data they can’t explain
- wacky next steps
They’ve likely been coached to “not go there.” “There” is exactly where you need to go. Make it safe to hear what you must. Build an environment where you hear what would otherwise be left on the editing room floor.
- Show up everywhere (kindly)
- Ask questions that don’t feel like tests
- Smile and laugh as needed
- Express your genuine thirst
- Do something with what you hear (without getting anyone in trouble)
- Recognize the great work you see
- Invite yourself in advance to working meetings and then listen
Empowerment happens in the daylight Shine bright lights, and be deliberate in your reactions. Question, encourage, invite, excite, grow, develop.
Only then, will you have enough information.