Years ago, several of our moving trucks began to show their age and required a significant amount of maintenance. It was time to shop for replacement trucks. Instead of making an executive decision and informing the rest of the team after the fact, we pulled the drivers and crew members together to talk about buying new trucks. And what followed was amazing…
We asked them to do the research and spec out new equipment, which they readily agreed to do. During their research, they were shocked when they learned how expensive new trucks were.
To my surprise, in an attempt to save money, they recommended that we leave out radios (this was before iPods and smartphones) and some other features.
Since the drivers and crew members made those recommendations, their attitudes were very positive in spite of lacking features such as radios.
Because they had been involved in the process and had the opportunity to provide research and feedback, they felt a sense of ownership for these new vehicles.
Typically, the CEO or a key leader makes this type of decision. It makes sense that such a critical capital expenditure be the call of a top leader.
As our business grew, I saw how the participative leadership style (Engage2Lead employing the 1-2-3 leadership tool) profoundly impacted the alignment and performance of our team.
Ultimately, I made the final decision. But my decision making was informed by the research and recommendations of our team members. The end results were a good decision and a supportive and aligned team!
What is 1-2-3?
1-2-3 is a unique approach to the decision-making process defined as:
At the very beginning of the decision-making process – AND before making a decision – the empowering leader seeks input from his or her employees. Such a leader asks:
1. Who can help me make a better decision?
2. Who will have to carry it out?
3. Who will be impacted by it?
The answers to the three questions above will guide leaders to assemble the right people and involve them, as appropriate to help make important decisions.
Every leader can develop a more effective and efficient TEAM by asking these three simple questions that consistently bring better results (extraordinary results beyond your imagination) while maintaining and enhancing relationships.
Remember: This is not decision-making by committee. You, as the leader, must still decide to make the final decision.
Three Key Benefits
Leaders who involve their people in this way of decision making will experience three key benefits.
You’ll make decisions that are better informed, your people will be more engaged with key decisions and their outcomes, and, finally, the organization will reach a level of team-initiated achievement that was impossible before implementing this process.
1. Better Informed
First, let’s consider how your decisions will be better informed. When facing a decision, your personal insight will seldom be as broad and deep as that of your team.
Your people are in a position to know what kinds of things might get in the way of implementing decisions that are made and plans that are laid out. Therefore, their input will grease the skids for implementation or execution of the decisions and plans.
As the leader, you have now afforded yourself more resources, ideas, and energy than you would have had on your own. You can devise better and more diverse alternatives when your team provides you multiple perspectives on how to reach your decision.
Next, consider ownership of ideas. When you sincerely solicit your employees’ thoughts and ideas, they are more likely to see themselves as full-fledged members of an outstanding team, and they will be prepared to weather the impact of decisions and plans.
As a team, they will share in the credit for victories and the blame for losses.
And if you implement this participative decision making, your employees are going to get excited about being asked for their ideas and involvement.
They will also have a better understanding of and commitment to the decisions that they collaboratively set. They will be your biggest cheerleaders to champion the decision, and they will bring results far beyond your expectations.
What an excellent way for your people to feel a sense of achievement – and to earn the recognition for achievement – because they were involved in the development and implementation of decisions made.
3. Peak Performance
Last, this approach leads to peak performance. Once I began to encourage our people to be actively involved and participate in the decision-making process, I was able to build a peak-performance team that achieved extraordinary results.
I was able to maximize my team’s potential and minimize their weakness when achieving results. And we did more as a team than we would have if I had made decisions alone.
By contrast, if you lead like a lone ranger, your strengths and weaknesses are more exposed.
You too can achieve positive outcomes and extraordinary results by tapping this important principle – enhancing your relationships (engaging employees) as you drive for results through participative decision making – Engage2Lead employing the 1-2-3 leadership tool.
Do your employees think like owners? Have you struggled to get your people to support your decisions? What might happen in your organization if you started to make decisions with the help of your team as described above? Please share your thoughts <here> and share this blog post with a co-worker and friend.
Learn more about Principled Profits here.