Nothing kills creativity and enthusiasm better than a prescription of what to do and how to do it.
The first job I had after University was that of an Accounts Assistant. I had a Degree in Business Administration but it felt like I was in class again. Learning was the order of the day; from discovering new accounting software to building relationships. No amount of school would have prepared me for all this and I am was eternally grateful.
However, six months down the road, the excitement died. I had become pretty good at data entry and I needed to break new ground. On top of that, my boss -Xolani (not real name) had trust issues. She would check if I was on my phone or not, she knew all the bathroom breaks. Life felt worse than having a nagging class teacher.
At the time I remember going to her and saying;
“Xolani can you let me try out management accounting and by the way I feel you are micro-managing and it is affecting me”
Xolani: “Sudesh this is not your father’s Organization so you don’t determine how you are to be treated and regarding management accounting, I will think about it”
A few months later I couldn’t take it, I transitioned into Marketing and Sales at the same Company without ever getting an answer from Xolani. In my new department, I had a leader who trusted me and for such, I grew to the top of that department in a very short time, was highly creative and productive.
If you are a leader reading this, I want you to know that; Surgeries are best performed by surgeons following their own knowledge and experience, rather instructions of their bosses. And as Simon Sinek says, “When we tell people to do their jobs, we get workers. When we trust people to get the job done, we get leaders.”
Trusting your people is the first step to increasing creativity, growing leaders and productivity.