Releasing the team to do more actually not only deepens their engagement, but it also increases the likelihood they’ll stay. It moves them from thinking like renters to thinking like an owner.
Owners tend to stay. Renters leave.
4. CLARITY VS A PAY RAISE
Strangely, clarity can also be a gift to your team.
Often, if you’re a founder or the CEO, far too much of the mission and vision lives in your head and not in the minds and hearts of your team members.
And guess what happens when your team doesn’t have clarity? They end up doing things you don’t want, not because they’re bad people, but because you weren’t clear.
When that happens, it’s easy to try to become a control freak, which demotivates your team even more.
Poor leaders substitute control for clarity.
Here’s why. If you don’t know with absolute clarity what your organization is, where it’s going and how it’s going to get there (in other words, if you’re fuzzy about your mission, vision and strategy), you can never truly align a team. And as a result, you will always want to control it.
You will default to control because, in the absence of clarity, you worry that leaders will take your church or organization to places you don’t believe it should go. And the truth is, they will. Because you haven’t been clear.
In so many cases, the real reason you can’t ‘trust’ people of even stellar character is not because they aren’t trustworthy, it’s because you haven’t stated the mission, vision and strategy clearly enough that it’s repeatable and reproducible for anybody other than you. In the absence of clarity, well-intentioned team members end up going rogue, not because they’re trying to be disloyal, but because you never clearly defined the destination.
Healthy people usually only run in the wrong direction when their leader never made it clear what the right direction is.
The more clarity you have as a leader, the less you will feel a need to control anything, and the more grateful your team will be.
5. LISTENING VS A PAY RAISE
Think about the bosses you’ve had. Chances are, the people you think are the best bosses are the people who cared the most about you personally.
That goes a long way.
Years ago my friend Jeff Henderson shared a brilliant idea with me that I implemented right away. When you meet with one of your team members, spend the first part of your time together asking how they’re doing before you ask what they’re doing.
This makes such a big difference.
Imagine if work was a safe place not just to talk about work, but to talk about life? I’ve helped so many staff get clarity around personal issues, life issues, relational issues and so much more. And no, I’m not a trained counsellor.
Mostly what I do is just listen. In a noisy world, listening is becoming a spiritual discipline. And being listened to is rare enough now to make it valuable.
Leaders who value their team listen to their team.
By the way, if you listen to more of their personal story, you’ll be listening to a lot fewer complaints about work. Try it. You’ll be amazed at how true that is.
This article originally appeared here.