It’s normal. If you are like a great majority of the companies, you probably do.
One of the big problems that companies’ leadership is currently facing is the lack of risk support.
If we think about our professional experience, few are the companies we pass through that effectively support their teams and their people to take risks and go outside the square when they think of problems for their situations.
If we analyze some companies, at least the most successful ones are invariably the ones that support risk and, many times, reward it.
I, thank God, had a boss in one of the companies I worked for very early in my career who used to say to me:
“Jose, I want you to make mistakes. Just don’t make the same mistake three times since that entitles you to a trip to Human Resources.”
This perspective was crucial for my professional development in the various functions and companies I went through afterward.
If we think about “mistakes,” what usually happens in companies when people make mistakes?
As the saying goes, they go from bestial to beastly, excuse the expression, with a logarithmic speed.
People don’t take the initiative for fear of making a mistake, and this fear is so intense that companies are often “blocked,” waiting for someone at the top of the hierarchy to arrive to make the expected decision.
The problem is that the current economic climate and the speed at which business is conducted are not compatible with pyramid structures where the decision is only centered at the top.
If this is the case, companies lack the flexibility to compete and act proactively to the world around them rather than reactively as they usually do.
The risk support policies that have been implemented in the companies we have been working with have had several increments in organizational improvement.
On the one hand, the management begins to have a more significant number of elements that can function autonomously without them. This is fundamental for the company to act more fluidly.
For this to happen, we have to alleviate something that is very human in our personality.
The “EGO” problem.
Often ego makes us think that we will lose power by decentralizing decisions and supporting risk.
Ego makes us think we are less because we no longer have total control of the team and the decisions that govern them in our hands.
Ego deceives us into thinking that, in this way, we are more outstanding, when in practice, we are worse leaders and managers since we have a team that is not, in fact, able to carry out its functions without our intervention.
As Jack Welch said:
“Before you are a leader, success is about your personal growth.
When you become a leader, success is about the growth of others.”
And indeed, nothing is more valid.
Being a leader is about getting our teams and companies the results they need without our intervention.
It is straightforward for most leaders to roll up their sleeves and perform the tasks at hand, but does it help the company?
In practice, no.
The time they invest in this could be used for other issues, such as planning, strategy, charm actions with major clients, etc.
By being busy with all these day-to-day things, what happens is that they live buried in their business instead of leading and thinking about their business strategically.
And your company, are you afraid of making mistakes?
Also published on Medium.