The Field of Freedom

Would you like to delegate work to someone without feeling the need to step in and do the job yourself? Would you like people to use their initiative without the fear that they might go too far? Whether you are talking to employees, subcontractors, associates or trades people, they all need clear information but also the opportunity to use their initiative and their creativity. Imagine a game in which it was ok for the head coach to run onto the pitch and kick the ball whenever he was unhappy with the way the player was kicking it. Sounds ridiculous? Why then, is it acceptable for a manager to take a job back from a member of his work team and do it himself because he is unhappy with the way the team member is doing it? Who is at fault, the team member or the team manager? The white lines that define the field of play in a game of football, rugby or basketball keep the coach off the pitch during the game. If we are to motivate and enable people we need to give them the space in which to play their own game but we need to keep that game within clear boundaries. We need to delegate responsibility in a way that gives them the greatest scope for development and satisfaction and gives us, the managers, the confidence to let them get on with it – we need to give them a Field of Freedom. * * * “If we are to motivate and enable people we need to give them the space in which to play their own game but we need to keep that game within clear...