Image You know the song from the Wizard of Oz…“if I were king of the foreeeeeest!  Not queen, not duke, not prince…”

Ever find yourself singing similar words at work?  “Boy, if I were in charge, things would be different here!”  Hey, manager, you are in charge – at least in your department.

I have interacted with many managers who I have worked with me, for me or for other companies who have said these words.  I’ve listened to the complaints and the ideas.  Early on, I mirrored this attitude.  “If only…”   Then I discovered something.

You can make decisions in your department that can positively affect the company.  Your leadership, your ideas, your opinions do matter in your circle of influence in the company.  You are free to find efficiencies.  You are free to grow your business. Your are free to develop your team.  You are free to succeed.  So what is holding you back?

Fear.  Indifference.

It may just be that you are fearful of putting yourself out there.  You may be afraid to innovate.  Maybe you’re afraid of rejection.  Let me encourage you…yes, take courage!  I’ll let you in on a little secret.

Your boss wants you to be efficient.  They want you to grow your bottom line. They want you to develop your team.  They want you to succeed.  They actually expect it!  When you do all of this and more, you are a positive reflection of your boss.  Because his/her boss is inspecting their work to see how their team is performing.  Nothing makes an executive bust their buttons in pride as sharing success stories from the field.  And you can intentionally decide to be one of these successes.

But beyond this, be courageous because it’s the right thing to do!  Take pride in yourself and your work.  You are worth it!

For some folks, they just may not care.  This is a dangerous land to live in.  Indifferent people are easily passed by those striving to really make a difference.  The world is never changed by indifference.  Passionate people change things!

What a leader of leaders doesn’t want to do is to baby-sit or hold the hands of their managers.  They expect you to do your job and to lead your team and to succeed.  So do it!  In most cases, there are probably very little obstacles in your way.  Keep it legal and communicate and you can do all sorts of things that will dramatically improve your results.

  • Set stretch goals for yourself and your team. Communicate them to your team.  Ask for their input.  Build momentum and keep talking about the goals.
  • Model ownership.  Act like you own the place.  Care about the little things. Encourage ownership from your team.
  • Brainstorm ideas that will improve customer service, operational efficiencies, sales, etc.  Then try one.  Get your team on board and do it!  When you succeed, share what you’ve done with your boss (they will most likely be calling you asking how you did what you did – if they don’t, you call them!).
  • Read.  Study your industry. Read books, articles, blogs, etc.  Steal great ideas.  Ignore bad ones.  Use what you are learning to improve your business.

Most of all, don’t just tread water day in and day out.  Be courageous and decide to make a difference and then do it.  You will find meaning and purpose in your work.  Your team will become energized.  Your boss will take notice of the positive changes, and this will never hurt you.


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