How the leader’s thinking affects the team II


“Rules First”

There are thousands of principles, rules and stereotypes in organisations:
-stay at work till six when the tasks are done
-do not test the idea until it has passed all the “instances” of the organisation
– do not hire students since they need a flexible schedule and they do not have much experience.

For such a leader, any change violates the regulations. As a result, compliance with standards means more than efficiency. Such totalitarianism stifles innovation and “preserves” the team. People do not believe that there is a chance to change something. So a bird sitting in a locked cage for a long time does not fly into an unexpectedly opened door.

“If you want to do well, do it yourself.”

It’s a mindset trap — the belief that no one else will put in as much effort as we do. Behind it lies the inability to delegate, distribute tasks, set goals correctly, and establish a monitoring system and trust.
If all this is peculiar to the leader, then most of it is characteristic of other team members. The changes occur slowly because an increase in the load accompanies them: many tasks are more than the already existing functionality.

“There are talents and ordinary people who should adapt to them.”

The manager is not ready or does not want to see the potential in those who have not yet managed to prove themselves publicly. The manager relies on single “star” employees, concentrating key processes in their hands.
This impedes change and development, for example, in a team of players, where strategies are built for one player: only a limited set of schemes can be used. No one improves – neither the central figure nor those who adapt to it.

“If the idea is not mine, it is not good enough.”

Such concentration on oneself and the inability to listen and perceive a fresh idea, which may seem untenable on the fly, also stops development.
Listening and perceiving alternative ways of solving problems that at first may not seem worth attention to is essential. Discussion of different opinions and solutions leads to pilot initiatives, and the most successful of them are already being implemented throughout the organisation. Openness to the new helps innovations to develop.

“It is necessary to keep a distance in relations with subordinates.”

People relationships motivate employees to do things beyond the scope of instruction, especially in conditions of instability, when it is necessary to change, invest in development and jump above their heads.

Everything comes down to declarative attitudes in a company, where the relationship between the leader and the team is strictly business like. Even motivation in the form of bonuses, competitive elements or punishments do not bring the desired effect.


First, it is important to accept as a fact that now learning has become an integral part of our lives. This is an ongoing process and a social philosophy called life-long learning.
Secondly, it is worth developing such a quality as social intelligence. It is based on the ability to perceive another person, his/her ideas, thinking, state here and now, and build interaction and social contacts with this in mind. “Understand people and be able to communicate constructively in any situation”.
From social intelligence flows emotional intelligence, which is increasingly talked about today.
And finally, support a sandbox culture where everyone can speak up and come up with the idea that will be tested and tested. Do not be afraid of mistakes and learn on a par with the team and the team to create the ground for joint sustainable development and growth.
And the choice of priority areas depends on the goals formulated jointly. The leader sees the situation from above; the team highlights the “problem areas” that require changes and is not afraid to experiment and create innovative solutions.

The article is based on famous psychologist Greg McKeown work: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

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