Posted by: joannabrandi | December 22, 2010

“I do it my OWN SELF!

Spending time with Little Miss, my 2 ½ year old granddaughter, is always a learning experience. For her and for me. Just recently while I was attempting to help her put on her jacket, she pulled away and shouted, “I do it my own self!” I couldn’t help but laugh (the kid cracks me up) and think about how we all grow and seek our independence naturally.

In the workplace I hear the same cry but there it sounds more like, “Don’t micromanage me, I’m capable and smart and you need to trust me!”

People need clear guidance and they need room to move. They need to know what a manager’s expectations are, what the rules are (what will get me promoted, what will get me fired?) and how they will be measured. They need praise and recognition for the things they do right, and kind considerate coaching for the things that need correction.

I’m continually amazed by the people I meet that are disengaged from their jobs because their managers didn’t trust them enough to let them do it their own selves.

Here are some questions to think about as you review your own performance as a manager and leader over this last year:

Have I provided a clear vision of what we are trying to accomplish here? Have I given those who work for me the chance to add to the vision and personalize it?

Have I been clear about my expectations? Have I checked in to see if they have heard them the way I intended? Have I clarified and confirmed their understanding?

Have I given them authority along with responsibility to do a project? Have I set up benchmarks and opportunities for small wins as well as large ones?

Have I taken the time to listen for and understand their strengths way more often than I notice their weaknesses?

Have I taken time to acknowledge, affirm and amplify what they do right?

Have I created 5 times more Positivity than negativity?

Ahhhh. Just a few leadership and management questions to get you thinking as we transition from one year to the next. Enjoy them. Let them percolate. Find the wisdom in each one.

A leader today can’t have all the answers, but she can sure open her world by having really good questions!

Many warm wishes for a happy holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!





  1. Helo Joanna!

    Cool thought!

    I sometimes really wonder, up to how much is freedom for an employee? Besides, have we thought of how we can develop clear metrics for performance in various organizational levels to overall catapult our firms to greater profitability? For instance, how does customer care intertwine with the sales team where the key performance index is the figures?; which also very arbitrarily change, which leads me to last wonder! Is sales figures fluctuating above the previous year and indicator of company growth?


    Managing Consultant,
    The IPMS LTD.

    • Felix,
      I’m loving how much you are wondering. We need more of that! Harley Davidson has a term I love, “Freedom with fences”. I believe in lots of freedom as long as the employee has been given all they need in the way of training, tools and mentoring so they are able to make decisions that are in alignment with the company’s values (which hopefully include excellent customer care.)

      Have we thought about clear metrics? Some companies have, others are bewildered and keep using the only metrics they ever used – sales and profitability.

      Is sales fluctuating above last year an indicator of company growth? Well – is profitability up as well? Fred Reichheld, the “grandfather” of the Customer Loyalty biz says loyalty is the best indicator and predictor of growth.

      So it’s a bigger question – how does the company define success?

      There are many questions that need to be raised at this point in time as we look at business differently than ever before – or SHOULD.

      Thanks for writing

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