The common trend among leaders in an MSP Company is to use orders. However, orders only work in emergencies. Effective leadership begins when managers use their role to offer direction, encourage their employees, and define the way forward while respecting the abilities of everyone on the team.
Orders Affect Creativity
Orders deny your staff the autonomy to decide what and how to do something. All they can do after receiving an order is obey it. This denies your staff the opportunity to get creative, think critically, and solve problems. It also robs your company the talent and creativity of everyone on the team.
Instead of giving orders, effective managers give directions and provide instructions that communicate the expected outcome while encouraging individual input. It gives your staff room to learn and experiment with new ideas, improving the overall outcome of the task.
Encouraging Individual Input Instead of Giving Orders
The best leadership strategies provide a brief of the task and encourage employees to give their input and ideas. Everyone on your team has something to offer. Encourage autonomy and use your position to show your team that you trust in their abilities. Limit your role to setting a goal and providing timelines. If you are working on a sensitive task, make sure your employees understand that you might take on a more hands-on approach. Encouraging autonomy among your team members encourages creativity and self-confidence.
Start by appreciating that there are several ways to get to the end. While you may have the ideal solution, your employees will provide an alternative solution, give you a different perspective and might even come up with a better solution. Your success as a leader begins with building every individual on your team. This way, everyone contributes his or her talents fully to the team.
Present every new task as a challenge to get everyone excited. Reframe the underlying problem and the underlying opportunity for the team or the individual. Once you present the target or goal, present a question such as, “How best do you want to resolve the issue at hand to achieve X, Y, Z?” If you have new members who are shy or rely excessively on your directions, make sure you use your position to probe them to come up with their own solutions. For example, you can ask them to take a few hours or days to come up with a plan and then present it to you. This way, you build their confidence while providing direction.
Communicate your Expected Results
Orders are often very specific in describing the task, the desired method of execution and the expected results. While your instructions leave room for individual creativity, make sure you communicate your expectations and provide timelines.
For example, instead of saying, “Prepare the presentation for the new clients”, you can say, “Prepare the presentation for client X, and include data from the marketing department and send it to me before Wednesday so we can go over it before meeting the client on Friday.”
In your instructions, make sure you communicate your ask; the context of the task; the intended outcomes; the time frame for the assignment and time frames for check-ins and your overall appreciation of the individual or team working on the task.
Are Orders Acceptable
Some situations in your MSP Company provide exceptions where your leaders can use orders. In some situations, orders can save lives, prevent accidents and protect your company from danger. If the leaders in your company create a culture of providing instructions, orders become effective when necessary. Your staff will understand the gravity of the situation and obey orders from leaders they trust.
Your role as a leader is to guide the team towards specific business goals. However, you can use your position in the MSP company to build confidence, grow your team, encourage creativity and allow diverse perspectives in the decision-making process. The next time you find yourself giving orders, think of ways you can re-frame the problem as a challenge, encourage ideas from your team, communicate your expectations and allow your team the autonomy they need to explore their individual brilliance.