I did it my way (and got slapped for it)

8 06 2015

“Creative freedom is a huge carrot.” ~Adam McKay

Most people like to be able to point at some idea, product, service, and say with pride “I did that.”  This goes way back to our youth when kids, around 2 years old start to say “me do it”, and they get praised by their parents.  The independent streak is very human.  People want to succeed, and have that success recognized by their peers, leaders, and others.

Now, they start a job on the front lines.  They’re given a training manual and are told “do it like this”.  They have audits that compare their work against a checklist, and lose points if they go all independent.  Often, they have good reasons why they “went off script”, and are frustrated when they’re told that “they’re not paid to think” (as I heard many times in the military, and it’s why I didn’t re-enlist).  As leaders, we MUST do everything we can to foster that independence WITHIN THE RULES.  There are compliance, legal, financial and other reasons why our front line staff must follow certain rules.  Outside of those rules, going “outside the lines” to connect with a client, etc. should be allowed, even rewarded, within reason.  This is why management is not black & white, and that’s often a source of stress, frustration and angst for those who like rules.

Speaking of carrot…


Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com




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