Taking it to the team

If you've been reading my blog recently, you'll know there's some big changes going on for me and Love Your Business at the moment. I wrote in an email yesterday "I've changed my diet, my exercise, how I spend money, the business, the stuff we've got, how I spend my time, and my involvement on boards of other companies." As I said, some big changes. A couple of weeks ago at a team meeting I was talking about what I want to do differently with the business, going to Bali etc, and I got some interesting feedback. A couple of the team members said that they didn't feel included in the decisions, and they weren't feeling valued. This wasn't surprising given they weren't really included in the decisions.

My job as a leader, according to the Love Your Business Model, is to inspire and unite the team. I was obviously falling a bit short of the mark.

I think as a leader there is a balance to strike between providing direction and being inclusive. I don't think leadership by committee works it is the leader's job to provide direction - to lead. Teams don't feel safe when there is no leadership. I don't think it works to go to the team and say "Ok - where are we going?".

On the other hand, not getting any input from the team and dictating from on high doesn't work either. As I discovered - the team doesn't feel valued. There is also going to be much less ownership from the team.

So I called a planning meeting with the team to get their input into the vision for the business. I asked everyone to prepare four things:

  1. Their vision for their life
  2. Their vision for their career
  3. Their vision for their role at LYB
  4. Their vision for LYB

It was a great meeting. I learned some great stuff about how the different team members see their role in LYB in the future. And there were some great ideas about how we market different things, distinguishing our product delivery for "newbie" businesses and more developed businesses, and where we are taking the business.  A much better outcome than what I had produced on my own (duh!).

And here is what Grace sent me as a ps to another email later in the day:

Ps. Great meeting today - I really felt valued and that I made some contribution to the direction of the business. Even though I know it's unlikely that 100% of my ideas will come to fruition - it's good to provide food for thought and feel that I'm ‘important enough' to be listened to and my ideas considered. Even if what I've said is a catalyst for something else to sprout from... It still feels good to be able to say what I think and feel.

It was the best meeting thus far and I really felt in a ‘safe' space to be authentically me and share my thoughts and feelings openly.

Nice work captain!

How do you strike the balance between providing direction and including your team?