Box-Based Leadership

Some people are doers.  They measure their days by tasks and are satisfied by the number of “things” they accomplished.  They look to leadership for checkboxes to prioritize and attack.

Others are dreamers.  Their days are valued by the quality of the ideas they developed.  They look to leadership for sandboxes — less defined opportunities that require creativity.

When you give a dreamer a checkbox, she feels boxed in and stifled.  Eventually, she”ll leave because “there is no room to be creative.”

When you give a doer a sandbox, he is left unsure of what is expected of him.  He’ll eventually walk out because “they just don”t know what they want.”

The natural tendency in leadership is to pass out the boxes that we prefer ourselves.  Doers instinctively give everyone checkboxes.  Dreamers rarely assign more than a sandbox.  Strategic leadership includes the awareness to deliver every assignment in just the right box for each individual.

What kind of boxes do you naturally pass out?  What does each individual on your team need from you?

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Ryan Stigile