Millennials and younger generations don’t respond to control and a non-stop focus on productivity. To get the best out of them you need to be a benevolent leader. What is different about being a benevolent leader? You are always in the question of what you are creating and how it can contribute to everyone, not just your bottom line. Benevolent leadership is innovation on steroids. By its very nature, innovation goes beyond control.
If innovation is a core strategy for your business, you need to lead from the space of asking questions that create new possibilities and new choices. You can’t control the outcomes. You can control the questions you ask. Traditional management schools teach you to ask the questions you know the answers to. Benevolent leaders know this won’t create innovation and expansion. To be continually thriving rather than just surviving you have to ask the questions that don’t have an obvious ‘right’ answer!
What do these questions look like? Let’s start with what they don’t look like! If you are hearing things like this come out of your mouth or your meetings, you are limiting what you can create in your business:
- “How do we make people work harder?”
- “How can we control our projects more closely?”
- “Why isn’t this working?”
Let’s consider some different possibilities.
Instead of asking how you can make people work harder, ask, “What can our people contribute that we have not yet considered?” and then ask them what they would like to contribute. Have you ever noticed how much more people will do when it is their choice?
Instead of asking how to control your projects better, ask, “What possibilities are available here that we have not yet considered?” Most projects are created in a linear and logical way. What if there is a faster, easier, more joyful way? Would you be willing to have that instead? If you ask your team, “What strategies can create the greatest results for the least effort?” you invite the elegance of creation, rather than the insanity of complicated solutions and non-stop stress. Deadlines can be met in half the time if you ask the questions that will create new possibilities!
Instead of asking why something isn’t working, ask, “What else can we create or generate that would out-create this situation?” Out-creation invites new possibilities and choices. Fixing problems invites more problems. This is the question to ask if you find you have a new problem to solve every time you turn around. What if your value as a benevolent leader is in what you create, rather than what you fix or control?
Are you willing to be the leader that people turn to, not because you have the right answers, but because the questions you ask always create greater possibilities?
What if you could be rewarded for your awareness of possibilities, rather than your ability to limit what is possible? That is the choice that you make as a benevolent leader. Are you willing to invite more possibilities than other people and businesses do? You have the choice. Ask the questions that take you out of the limitations of control and into the non-stop creation of innovation. That is how you create a sustainable future – for you, your organization and the world.
About the Author
Business innovator, investor, author, antique storeowner and breeder of Costa Rican horses, Gary Douglas lives life to the fullest. He is the founder of Access Consciousness®, a personal development modality that has helped thousands worldwide by giving them tools to create change in all aspects of life – from addiction, recovery, weight loss, business, money, health, relationships and creativity. The Access tools are now offered in 173 countries. In 2010 his book The Place became a Barnes and Nobles #1 Bestseller. Gary is regularly featured in the international media as a thought leader in business. Find Gary at GaryMDouglas.com and Access Consciousness at AccessConsciousness.com.