How Does Freedom Help Your Team Perform Better
At GEP I’ve come to think about freedom differently. It is not about the freedom from answering to someone, it’s about being given the space and authority to accomplish your job in a way that is true to you and your unique skills.
My first year at GEP was a culture shock, lots of bumps in the road. From the day I joined, my manager was urging me to be creative to accomplish my goals, I was given plenty of latitude. However, years at mega-cap publicly traded organizations with strict and plentiful policies and procedures had made me a corporate conservative, I did not embrace the freedom.
It was only when I took off my self-imposed corporate handcuffs that I started making an impact at GEP. Not everything I did or proposed after that was a winner, but there were more winners than clunkers.
My everyday goal/challenge is giving my team the same freedom – to make mistakes and to excel. You can’t have one without the other. When I try to control things too tightly (micromanager alert!), I can see that everyone pulls back and stops taking chances. But, when I step back to support my team’s ideas despite it not being exactly what I would do (narcissist alert!), solutions that I did not have the capacity to imagine appear.
Now, when I speak to people thinking about joining GEP I tell them, nobody is going to hold your hand and that is the best part.