A friend recently shared an article with me documenting the results of a study by Training Magazine and the Ken Blanchard Companies.  The study was focused on answering the question “What’s important in creating a motivating work environment and whose job is it?”.   The study looked at job factors,  organizational factors, and relationship factors.  Here is a link to the study.

When asking the question “Leader, what is your job?”, let’s look at the results from the question “Who, in your opinion, has primary responsibility for influencing and improving the following Job factors?”.  Here is how people answered that question:

Job Factor -Owner

  • Meaningful Work – Myself
  • Autonomy – shared between My Leader and Myself
  • Task Variety – shared between My Leader and Myself
  • Workload Balance – primiarily Myself, but My Leader plays a part
  • Feedback – My Leader

Two things to take away from this.

  1. Leaders, it is not all on your shoulders.   Your people have to and WANT to own certain pieces. 
  2. As a leader, your primary responsibility to to make sure people are getting feedback and to partner on task variety and autonomy.

There has long been a conversation about the importance of leaders as coaches.  The voice of a leader/coach is not giving directions, but asking the What and How questions in their interactions so people become problem solvers and build the confidence and competence to make decisions.  This is autonomy!

These results highlight what many other studies have shown, people need great leaders, and great leaders do not own everything!  As a leader, you need great followers.

Print this study and review it at your next leadership team meeting.  Ask the follow-up questions: 

  • How does my leadership style  promote/disrupt autonomy? 
  • What do my feedback habits look like? 
  • What is one habit I should add?

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