Archives for May 2010
Seth Godin’s blog post on May 15th helped solidify my thoughts about influence and leadership. He asked his readers to change their beliefs and perceptions about whether their teams work for the leader, as most organizational charts suggest, or whether the leader works for their teams – inverting the organizational chart.
The subtle shift Seth outlines in his last sentence carries tremendous power – here’s what Seth said:
Who do you work for? (And who works for you?)
I always took the position that my boss (when I had a job) worked for me. My job was to do the thing I was hired to do, and my boss had assets that could help me do the job better. His job, then, was to figure out how best give me access to the people, systems and resources that would allow me to do my job the best possible way.
Of course, that also means that the people I hire are in charge as well. My job isn’t to tell them what to do, my job is for them to tell me what to do to allow them to keep their promise of delivering great work.
If you go into work on Monday with a list of things for your boss to do for you (she works for you, remember?) what would it say? What happens if you say to the people you hired, “I work for you, what’s next on my agenda to support you and help make your numbers go up?”
It takes courage and willpower to invite people to bring you a list of things to do. In our hectic and busy lives we’re looking for ways to jettison things from our to-do list not add to it. And yet, re-prioritizing our work based on enabling others to do their best work possible pays incredible dividends – both from a purely task perspective as well as from a leadership and influence perspective.
If you’d like to learn more about being in service to others, check out my video blog “Shedding Light” here.