The Box

I once worked at an organization where originally, there was a staff of enthusiastic and highly motivated individuals. When they started in their roles, they came to the weekly meetings with creative ideas and plans that could take the organization to the next level. However, as the meetings were conducted week after week, their motivation and ideas stopped. They gave up on presenting new and creative ideas because each time they tried to bring something new to the table, they were stopped in their tracks. The manager would state, “This is the way we’ve always done it and we’re not changing.” In addition, when feedback and ideas were solicited and given, it fell on deaf ears. The employees couldn’t understand why their opinions were being asked of if they never were going to be considered. Do you know what happened? The employee’s morale drastically decreased and they eventually found other positions where their talents could be used and appreciated. The turnover rate was one of the highest I had ever seen in my career.

Managers and leaders, I’m going to let you in on a strategy to help your organizations. Are you ready? Here it goes. STEP OUT OF THE BOX. One of the most dangerous things you can do to stop the advancement of your organization is stifle the growth and creativity of your teams. If you’re not going to utilize their talents, why did you hire them? I do agree. Some rules you cannot budge on for legal and ethical reasons. That’s to be understood. However, when your team has ideas for different programs, fundraisers, and other activities, don’t be afraid to try something different.

At the organization mentioned above, I hated to see so much talent walk away from what could have been a great career. The individuals I briefly worked with were amazing but unfortunately, our organization never tapped into their full potential.

The Box mindset has sabotaged many organizations. Ask yourself, if it applies, why are you as a manager hesitant to let your teams try new things. Is it fear of change or intimidation? Is it the unwillingness to try something that could probably fail or succeed? Is it because you feel threatened? Is it because you are concerned about stepping out of your comfort zone? Do you know when and when not to micromanage? Do you dislike not being in control? Address these concerns because you most likely are sleeping on a goldmine of ideas that could catapult your entire organization to the next level. Task some of your duties out and lighten your load. With the Box mindset, you probably have more on your plate than necessary. Don’t be afraid to try new things even if you’re not entirely sure how they’ll work out. Work on effective communication within your organization. Get rid of the Box mindset and trust the team you hired. As they grow and excel, so do you. Step out of the box you’re in and walk into the space of growth, opportunity, and success.

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