Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

The paradox of freedom and authority

The more freedom and authority you have, the more you limit it by ways of your own assumptions and choices. Have you ever noticed yourself doing this? I liken this phenomenon to a mime looking for the imaginary walls that no one else sees but himself. You see the wall at arm’s length instead of in the distance. This is really bad for you, your family and work. As a leader-manager it saddens and challenges you the most when you try providing an environment where your team members enjoy a lot of freedom. Freedom at work comes in form of authority. Because we are so trained to think in terms of responsibility we have a much harder time to think of how much authority we have. One key thing to remember is to realize that you do not need permission to do more work – more creative work. Rather than go ask your immediate boss for what to do next, how to decide a task that you are working on, try deciding this with the intentions to solve it with a great outcome for everybody. Then develop plan B. That would be a scenario that you can live with. Either way, use these two solutions and approach him/her with it. Most self-aware and critically thinking ones will be appreciative of the effort and soon thereafter you will experience more interesting and challenging tasks coming your way. Do this often enough and you have increased your value that will be worth something that you need to ponder if and how you want to approach your supervisor. Besides of your management taking notice, you will also encounter a shift how your co-workers will see you. Some – as always – will see you as a threat whereas others will welcome the self-initiative and thus come to you for solutions. Not a bad position to be in; it is rewarding at a minimum. That is why I invite you to stretch out and place the self-imposed limits much farther outward in the future. Ralf

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