Leaders: Are you Sharing Your Positional Perspective?

Tuesday, April 25

Recently I was coaching a senior executive government leader and he was expressing some of his frustration with his direct reports.  Like many senior leaders, he exercises a lot of patience while he allows his direct reports to work through issues and make decisions instead of jumping in and deciding things for them.    During this particular coaching session, he was expressing his frustration with the pressures he gets from those above him because he’s not getting things quick enough from his team.

When the pressure gets high enough, his typical reaction is to solve the problems his direct reports should be solving and make decisions for them.  He does this because, in these high-pressure moments, he knows the best answer and can make the best decisions because he has “positional perspective”.  He is at the higher level and can see more of what is going on across the organization than his direct reports, who are more focused on what is going on in their specific area.  Yet, by making the decisions and solving the problems for his direct reports, my client is robbing them of the ability to grow and learn.

I asked him if he was sharing his positional perspective with the team.  He said if and when he needs to but not on a regular basis.  It suddenly became very clear.  What if he were to share it on a regular basis?  What if he shared his view of what was going on across the organization on a regular basis so that his direct reports had the benefit of his positional perspective?   Then perhaps they would be able to solve their issues and make decisions in a more efficient manner, before my client would need to jump in and do it for them.    It just might make things run a lot more smoothly.    It was a suggestion my client was willing to implement and we will see if his frustration and impatience levels decrease by the act of him sharing more information with his team.  I think this is a consideration for all leaders:  are you sharing your positional perspective with your team?  If so, how is it working out for you?

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