Experience has taught me that the best leadership is allowing people to do the jobs they naturally do best and not interfere. Rarely though did I ever work for an organization where the senior leadership could do this.
I was in a golf tournament with a client organization where the teams were chosen in advance… except mine. Since I was the guest keynote speaker, I was assigned to play on a team with the sound technician and two others who came onboard at the last minute. We weren’t chosen to compete.
Typically, my strength is in putting; not driving the ball or chipping onto the green. That day I putted fairly well which we needed. We had two men who could drive the ball like Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. The fourth member of the team was chipping the ball way beyond our abilities. We were humming!
On the back nine holes we were playing well. We hadn’t hit above par on any hole. Then we hit a snag. It was a “Captain’s Choice” four-man scramble, which meant that you used everyone’s best shot on each stroke. On hole #12, everyone missed the putt.
We were about to give in and take a one stroke over par, when our leader asked me if I had taken my free “Mulligan” yet. (For novices, in some tournaments each player is allowed to hit one “do-over” shot without a penalty) “No,” I answered. “and I’m not using it on a putt!”
He said, “I’ve watched you putting all day. I KNOW you can do this. Your first putt was closer than anyone’s.” The rest of the team agreed and said they were certain I would make the putt. With their encouragement, I made it and saved par.
We won that tournament. None of us were outstanding, but each excelled in different areas and it carried our victory. Each person had one skill that they were gifted at doing. Everyone supported others in the tough moments. Do you work with a team like this?
Everyone is great at doing something.
Your task is to discover what that is.
If you are miserable in your job, odds are you are doing tasks that don’t come natural to you. There are other tasks you can do without breaking a sweat, but some things about your job make you struggle and dominate your thinking.
You Get What You Hire
Many times we hire people and give them a list of job requirements. However we do not allow them to perform their tasks unsupervised or unchecked.
This is called “Hiring for Responsibility.”