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Unchain Your People From Their Desks

 In Accountability, Leadership, Trust
Years ago, I sat at a desk on the first floor of a two-story building.  

It was a beautiful building inside and out—we had great outdoor space, plenty of parking, and a full-functioning kitchen with a hangout area.  

My desk was in a shared space with a couple of other coaches doing similar work as me.  

I sat near the entrance but in a separate room—multiple windows, a good amount of square footage, a closet to my right and a beautiful bookshelf overflowing with growth, leadership, management, and development books. Some of the titles were as follows: 

  • 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni 
  • Talent is Never Enough by John C. Maxwell  
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie 
  • As a Man Thinketh by James Allen 
  • Integrity by Dr. Henry Cloud & John Townsend 
Just to name a few. 

We worked with an assortment of clients—some who had never known flourishing in the business space, some who were magnificently entrepreneurial, some who felt like they were fighting to survive and some who probably would have said they were just skating by in life and work—numbed by the harshness and reality they had experienced thus far.

I share these details to give you a brief idea that the work we were doing was deeply impactful—not just for our clients but even for us as coaches. Our work was the type that works on you as you work on it. In less abstract terms, it required immense presence and flexibility for us to show up well with our clients.

For the sake of this insight, let’s call this fully integrated work, using both your left side logical, right side creative, and your heart. Stay with me here. I know this mushy gushy stuff can throw you off, but I am convinced you’re just as hungry for it as we are—The Millennials, Gen Z’ers, etc.

Anyway—back to the desk.

Day in and day out, I’d watch the executive leadership, the 2nd-floor employees, come and go as they please. More so, I’d watch them have the latitude to move about freely—quite literally.

You see, the issue isn’t explicitly the desk—it’s found in the subtleties of how you as the organizational leader approach your people with control and scheduling.

When you work from a posture of control—you are insinuating that they are not smart, capable and motivated.

I hate to tell you, but for a large majority of companies and organizations like yours, gone are the days when you can dictate that your people sit at a desk and complete tasks. Obsolete are the days when you can expect your people to punch in and punch out. There are exceptions, but for many of you—you may still be holding onto what it has looked like in the past, and it’s killing you.

Unchain your people from their desks. Literally and metaphorically. Unleash the potential within your people! There is some company in another town that will unleash them by letting them work remotely and they’ll probably pay far more money than you can imagine. Don’t let this be the reason your people leave.

You can have all the right books on the shelves, you can tell them all the right things, you can promise them all the best pay and perks, but until you lead with trust and loosen up your grip a bit—you’ll never know what your people are capable of.

Here are a few questions to help you kick-start the dialogue:  

(Assuming you’ve got clear roles and responsibilities and they know what winning looks like in their role—if not, that too is a separate conversation, and we can help you clear that up too.  More on that later.) 

  1. During your current workday, what gets in the way of productivity for you? 
  2. If you could change anything about your overall workday cadence, what would it be?  
  3. What types of meetings would you like more of? Less of? 
  4. When do you feel the most productive? 
Your people are just as smart, capable and motivated as you were when you were where they are. Nevertheless, they simply desire to go about growing and building something great in a different way. So, engage in the conversation, give them autonomy, and watch your company soar! 

DRYVE would enjoy partnering with you to help your team gain additional freedom to flourish. Schedule a strategy session with us today!

Think of DRYVE Leadership Group as your organization’s guide to better walking with your people, developing a shared purpose, and cultivating a collaborative culture that will DRYVE better business results.  
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