In this article on YoungUpstarts.com, Michael Feuer tackles a common business problem: if you embrace the old “command and control” style of leadership, you’re blocking the natural flow of the life’s blood of the company – innovation.
Click here to read the original.
Below is an excerpt:
Do you lead your team like you’re the great and powerful head of your own nation? Hidden away in your office, shielded from others, do you deliver orders that must be followed, never considering what your employees might think? Do you parade the halls, factory floors, or store aisles of your organization, holding audience with only the small entourage of upper management trailing after you?
Okay, this might be a slight exaggeration. But even if you embrace a less extreme version of the old “command and control” style of leadership, you’re blocking the natural flow of the life’s blood of the company. Innovation.
The boss must act as the ‘external force’ for continuous, systematic change and innovation in an organization. He or she must be poised to seize the moment and capitalize on unique opportunities when they’re presented. But they’ll never be presented if you don’t stir the pot by constantly listening to your employees and challenging them to think about ‘What if?’ in order to improve your products, processes, or procedures.
To achieve true innovation, you can’t lead like an iron-fisted dictator, where your word and only your word is final. You should instead lead as a benevolent dictator — “benevolent” being the operative word — who always puts the company, the employees, and, most importantly, the customer, first.
Yes, as the benevolent dictator, you have the final say-so at the point when debate, conversation, and analysis can’t take you any farther. However, you’ll never reach that point in the decision making process if you never open up the issues for input in the first place. And it’s in that fertile time before you determine which fork in the road to take that innovation springs up and flourishes.
So how can you cull valuable ideas from your employees, benevolent dictator-style?