Are you Ruling or are you Leading?

Man tries to solve a problem

Our freedoms have been challenged in 2020 perhaps more than the Second World War.

Worldwide we’ve all had several situations this year where we lost the ability to make decisions for ourselves. With very few exceptions, we were told to stay at home, and when we could leave, what we needed to experience to go to the bank, grocery store, or perform other errands.

The numbers of rules are astounding! And they seem to vary somewhat from week to week (as our government legitimately learns more and more about this virus). People have responded by respecting the rules 100%, finding the middle road, or engaging in conspiracy theories. Those commenting on social media appear to be of the two extremes.

This causes me to think of when there are too many rules in a team setting or seemingly arbitrary rules are set out with little thought to process or impact on the team. Can you have too many rules or guidelines in the workplace? YES!!

Now is the time to shift from ruling to leading. Here are a few tips:

  1. Safety. Rules that provide needed safety and security for those you serve are important. And probably needed. Double-check that all of these absolutes are necessary. Are they about safety or control?
  2. Rules created to rule the 2% that don’t act appropriately. These are incredibly frustrating for those who don’t need them. Remove these rules and hold individuals accountable for inappropriate or unproductive behaviours.
  3. Other rules that may not even have relevance today. Go through your day-to-day operating manuals and remove the rules that you are unable to explain or give an adequate rationale for them being in place.

Remember, those who have a style of freedom too many rules will disempower and frustrate them. Evaluate how you, as a leader, can supervise them and give them as much freedom as possible.

For those with a motivational style of security, they roll easier with rules. However, they will benefit even more from guidelines, and being given clear expectations vs. being overly regulated by excessive rules.

In today’s climate, reducing unnecessary or excessively restrictive rules can benefit all as you maneuver through the next several months of the unknown in our world.

Be well,

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