045: Are You Empowering Your People to Disrupt?
“Be a disruptor. Step on some toes. Shake things up.”
That’s what my boss told me when I started at one of my jobs.
Right off the bat he made that clear. He already had seen that in me from my interviews and he wanted me to turn over those stones, to be curious, to question and disrupt.
And, honestly, I did in a lot of ways.
What was so helpful was that he empowered me to do that from the beginning.
He wanted to see how we could grow and break some old thinking or systems and take the next step.
And that was how I was naturally thinking, but without his blessing and charge to do that, as the new guy I think I would have been a lot more reserved in that. I would have tended to just keep some thoughts or ideas to myself because no one was asking for anything to be different or improved.
His words from the get go (that were also backed up by frequent conversations we’d have affirming that), made such a huge difference.
And so I wonder a few things for you as a business leader.
First, do you want people who will disrupt, ask questions, bring about change?
If the answer to the first question is no, then I believe you might be missing out on a big potential for growth in your processes, communication and more in your organization.
But if the answer is yes, my second question would be this: are you communicating this to your people and empowering them to be that in your business?
Do they have your backing to question long held procedures, thinking or ways of doing things? Or are they afraid of what would happen if they stepped out of line or went against the flow?
Take some time to think about that today.
Think about some specific people in your organization. Maybe you have some who have some new ideas, who are willing to question and challenge and grow. And maybe they are quietly (or more vocally) frustrated because they’ve been instructed to just do as they’re told.
Unfortunately, it’s those kinds of people who will often leave to go somewhere else where they can make a bigger impact and use those skills if they’re not allowed to do that where they are.
So, remember that our words are powerful and empowering and inviting our people to do something carries a lot of weight.
Be willing to make that shift and see what happens.
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