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Don’t drive buses without passengers

Jason Chenard

Leaders give choice in order to fill seats

COVID has opened our eyes to the creepy reality of elite sport on display live in front of no one. Empty stadiums, rinks, fields, studios, courts and pitches, all generating zero ticket revenue. It is analogous to an empty, lonely bus driving without passengers.

Great leaders fill seats. They uncover ways to get passengers on the bus. How? They create an environment where people contribute to the development of their plans. They give autonomy. Autonomy, the gift of choice to others, presents opportunity for others to feel like they have purpose. That purpose secures internal motivation to create good things and keeps people coming to work happy and fulfilled.

Autonomous leaders engage the minds of the people around them, trusting that results derived from groups far out-sustain and out-perform the work of individuals.

  • They ask open-ended questions in fantasy: “What if I told you never have to do another mixture again? Tell me what we would do with that time.”
  • They approach from curiosity instead of blame: “I’m curious, entertain me. Why do we prep blister packs 4 weeks ahead of time.”
  • They structure environments that are safe to speak-up: “Tell me what you hate about offering walk-in Covid shots without worrying about offending anyone. We are on the same team no matter what.”
  • They encourage healthy debate: “We should sell OTC codeine products. Good, now someone counter that even if you agree with him.”
  • They let others choose how to get things done: “You decide which day the narc count will take place on.”
  • They put their teammates on display without giving up ultimate control: “You’re the expert. If resources were unlimited, tell me what you would do to fix our return to stock mix-ups.”

Purpose secures internal motivation to create good things and keeps people coming to work happy and fulfilled.

Giving others the right of choice and self-regulation gives them a reason to come to work each day. When given fully, or absolutely, instead of only optically, it empowers creation and job satisfaction. It offers respect and ensures respect back. It more easily leads to buy-in and generates final products that supersede that of a sole dictator-leader.

What’s the point of driving a spectacular bus if there is no one to wants to ride it? Fill the seats and enjoy the trip, together.

In the next article I describe why having enough eggs for the job is the fundamental strength of your pharmacy.


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