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Friday, November 15, 2013

Lean Quote: Tell People What You Want, Not How To Do It

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"If you want people to think, give them intent, not instruction.— David Marquet

Tell people what you want, not how to do it. Telling them how to do their work is marginalizing, rather than maximizing, your people, which goes directly to your bottom line. You will find people more responsive and less defensive if you can give them guidance not instructions. You will also see more initiative, more innovation, and more of an ownership attitude from them develop over time.

When you give people instruction, you put them on autopilot. They just run through a task list until it ends and don't bother to think more than necessary. If you provide an intention you create an end goal to strive towards and encourage people to think about the best way to get there. If you find that you don't have the proper motivation to finish a task, you can always ask your boss or manager for that intent. It might help you do better work and feel a little less like a task robot.

If there's well-grounded concern about whether they will come up with a good solution, then you need either provide greater support, or reconsider the person for their role. If it's not, then delegating the "what" you want done, then having them figure out on their own the "how" best to do it makes them add maximum value to your enterprise, not to mention freeing you up for a greater contribution.

Leaders define what matters. Don’t just give orders; give the reasoning behind your requests. If you want them to do something, tell them why in a way that lets them know the importance of the task to the company.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Tim, What a great leader, and the wonderful words you use will help all of us to be better at whatever task we challenge.