title:Are Your People On A Chain? author:Kreg Enderson source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_5897.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:07 category:business_and_finance article:

I am finally reading ?The 8th Habit? by Stephen Covey. It seems to be a great book so far. One of the nice things about this book is that it includes a website that has short videos about some of the topics, so you can watch the video and then go back to the book which makes the learning experience much better.
One of the videos makes the comparison of how a leader ?manages? his prize hunting dog and his new employee. And after I watched the video, I had to laugh because I have experienced many similar situations in the workplace. The dog is not allowed to go into the water, he must stay on the grass. One day the ?leader? drops his hat into the water. His dog immediately jumps into the water and brings the hat back to his master, hoping to receive praise for his efforts. What he gets is a loud voice telling him that he is never to leave the grass.
How often do we as leaders forget that we have great people around us that want to take the initiative to help customers or please their manager, but when they act outside of our standard ?policies? we jump all over them. As a leader, we need to look at why people do the things they do, and never suppress the initiative and enthusiasm that brings most people to our team. When you have a team member that does act outside the policies, start by asking them what they did and why. Learn how they think and approach problems and coach them from that perspective. Once you break your people of wanting to do the right thing, you begin to manage robots.
So take a fresh look at the things your team members do, and remember to encourage the right thought process and do not simply manage their actions to conform to current policies. A team of people that keep their enthusiasm and initiative will make you a much more successful leader.
Kreg Enderson
Leadership Mentor/Coach
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