Set the agenda not the tasks

I’ve recently been supporting the recruitment of a senior manager in Government. One of the expressions a candidate used has resonated with me. When answering a question about what he’d do to create an environment for others to be successful he explained that for him the role of the leader is about setting the agenda and allowing others to determine the tasks required to bring the agenda to life. I liked this way of thinking about things. Here’s three reasons why:

1) By asking yourself the question “agenda or task?” you can sense check which level you’re operating at.

2) Done effectively, it will give direction and empower your team or organisation.

3) You get to take out the pressure and stress. So many leaders feel, that they are responsible for coming up with all the answers. There’s a good chance you’ll end up with more creative solutions that really tap into the experience of your team. And as a bonus you’ll also free up more capacity for connecting with people and time to think about future agendas.
Like many things it’s perhaps not quite so black and white about which level you’re operating at. At least with the awareness of this question you give yourself the choice.  Give it a go. I’m interested in any experiences you have.

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