I know, that doesn't make any sense!
Why would a leader encourage members and employees of the organization to say "That is not my job"?
Because, it isn't their job. Not if they work in an environment that empowers them to take responsibility for the outcomes. People are more engaged and invested when there is an intrinsic understanding that the progress and success of the company is directly related to the individual efforts, skills, and ability to problem solve. It is not their job, it is their mission - their cause.
People who have arrive at this understanding are deeply committed and have a greater sense of ownership. In fact, they think and behave as if they do own the company. For example, a young lady approached her boss with a strategy to reduce the time it takes to process a customers request for additional services. Her plan could save employees approximately 20 minutes per transaction. When the boss asked why she had given this so much thought and effort, she responded "I thought that the cost savings for the company would be significant and it would help employees to have time to focus more on producing results and less on process." It was not her job to come up with those ideas. Her "job" was to simply carry out the tasks. And yet, her mission was to make the company stronger and her role became more valuable.
The fastest way you can begin creating this kind of energy and engagement is to:
1) Minimize the rules, and get out of their way.
2) Maximize the recognition and give them the credit.
There are two dangers to keep in mind as you move in this direction - the lines between who is responsible for what can become fuzzy and you may end up doing things that you shouldn't.
You can avoid the first problem by having regular conversations with individuals and the whole team about specific roles and responsiblities. We need to release people to play to their strengths. We also need to remind the whole team that we contribute to each others efforts, but not at the expense of our own duties.
The second problem of doing what you shouldn't do can be overcome by declaring "It's Not My Job". My friend Laura Stack, the Productivity Pro, has a fantastic article that can help you stay focused on your priorities!
Share with me your thoughts about this blog or how you are empowering others to be more successful.