Ingaged Leadership is a new leadership approach that I have developed as I have led companies over the course of several decades. What is Ingaged Leadership? It is a new approach to leading that is based on the belief that . . .
When a leader aligns people and creates an organization where everyone works together in full partnership, that organization becomes vastly more successful.
It is a leadership philosophy for those who believe that it is not enough to tell people what to do. To lead fully, it is necessary to involve their minds, creativity, hearts, and emotions. Ingagement goes beyond the style of management you will find in many companies today, where top executives believe that leading means giving instructions or offering incentives for people who meet expectations. Why do I call my new approach Ingagement and not engagement? Because the letter “I” stands for involvement.
Decoding the Link Between Ingagement and Quality
Engaged leaders focus on a variety of activities that can include:
- Listening openly for ideas, capturing them, acknowledging them, putting them into practice, and giving their creators ownership of them.
- Sharing as much information as possible – including financial data – with all employees instead of keeping them in the dark.
- Participating in 360ᴼ reviews and sharing the feedback they receive with all employees.
- Promoting an internal culture where people are positive and have good attitudes.
- Allowing employees the autonomy to try new things and make their mark.
- Surrounding themselves with strong team members with proven skills – not “yes people”.
- Inviting everyone in an organization to shape and define its vision and mission.
- Fostering close ties to stakeholders, including customers and vendors, and inviting them to help shape the company’s mission and plans.
While you were reading those bulleted points just above, did you begin to get an idea about why Ingagement can have an immense impact on quality? I would like to think that you did. Because the fact is, people in your company have a lot of things to tell you about the quality of your products and services. So do your customers, vendors and other key stakeholders.
My question to you is, are you listening to them . . . really listening? Or have you allowed a culture to take hold in which . . .
- Front-line employees who know what customers want and need have no way to get that information to you.
- Employees self-censor and stop contributing because their ideas have not been heard or acknowledged in the past.
- People have concluded that the only way they can leave a personal mark in the world is to leave your company or start companies of their own.
- The overriding perception is that you think you are always right and that others are probably wrong.
Those are hard issues to consider. But if you are a leader who is committed – truly committed – to building quality through participation, I would urge you to think about them.
Ingagement Is Not a Full Democracy
I would like to conclude this article by making a point that would seem to run counter to the ideas that I have expressed in this article . . .
Ingagement and democracy are not the same things
In a democracy, everybody gets to vote, and that is often not appropriate when you are leading a business. If you are contemplating a merger with another company or expanding your operations into another country, for example, you can start by openly gathering as much information and input as you can. But it is your job as a leader to make the ultimate yes or no decision.
Which decisions require a vote and which require you to make the final call? Understanding that is part of the art of leadership. I invite you to make that decision as an Ingaged leader.