INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
You hear it, or say it, all the time – “We’ve got to think bigger!”
But there’s one tiny problem. Or more precisely, a big problem. How exactly do you encourage big thinking?
One underutilized method – speed. In two ways. If you want big thinking:
1. Work at the speed of a startup.
Great new ideas can’t wait. Bad new ideas can’t wait to be killed. Ideate, prototype, keep/cure/kill (pick one), next. The net result is bigger ideas, faster.
2. Run fast at all the hardest parts of a problem.
Pressing on the hardest part first invites big thinking in much sooner. At a minimum, you’ll fail faster and learn quicker. This is in contrast to many teams that try to pull off quick wins in the name of progress and put off tackling the killer issue that could bring the project to a standstill.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake many leaders make)
Too many leaders, too often, fall into the “command and control” trap. Meaning, in an attempt to ensure better outcomes, they act like authoritarians and try to control every deliberation, every decision, every detail. The tighter grip they put on things, the better the result, they reason.
But it rarely works. For sooo many reasons.
Instead, adapt the philosophy of movie star Ryan Reynolds, who speaks of how the best leaders engage in “gentle authorship.” Meaning, they lead through a lens of collaboration. Sure, they recognize they’re still in charge, still the authors of the script to be written, but they see it as a group activity. They don’t try to control every outcome themselves, don’t dictate every next step. They believe the best results come from loosening their grip to allow the lifeblood of good outcomes to flow – the exchange of ideas, the acceptance of criticism in the spirit of betterment, and the unleashing of everyone’s best selves.
So, remember the idea of “gentle authorship” the next time you feel tempted to dictate how a story should unfold.
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
Want to foster better teamwork? Remember the Assembly Line Rule:
Everyone on the team must understand their “role on the assembly line.”
Meaning, every team member must understand what they’re there to produce, what their role is in producing it, what everyone else’s role is in producing it, and how what they do affects everyone else further down “the production line.” Role clarity is vital for creating highly interdependent and productive teams.