If your employees are always operating from a place of scarcity, many of their decisions are made out of fear or self-preservation. As a leader, ask yourself: “What decisions could my employees have made that would have been more beneficial to my organization, but because of fear and tunnel vision, they didn’t make those decisions?”
You might be missing out on innovative solutions that maintain and surpass targets because you are not fostering a healthy work environment.
To create an environment of abundance, Mandy suggests making space and time for people to try new things and purposely be outside of their comfort zone: “Amazon does have a reputation for allowing experimentation. They are known for asking their teams to fail fast, fail cheap, and move on, which is not a bad way to work…But I don’t know if they do enough to create time and space for people to step outside of what they normally do, with no negative consequences.”
One way for leaders to experience the effects of their company culture is to swap roles, putting employees in a role they don’t normally play. People who tend to assume a leadership role should play followers and people who tend to be followers play the leaders. Putting executives on the floor to experience the environments they’ve created will help them understand their company on a deeper level than simply judging outcomes of projects or numbers on targets. Giving employees the opportunities to make decisions and to be accountable but still allowed to learn from the consequences, leads to levels of boldness, creativity, and ownership that are beyond what typically comes from their usual roles.
The true responsibilities of leadership
Secondly, on a broader note, behemoth companies need to set a standard of leadership responsibility for their executives, including the founders, the CEO, and the board. Particularly in a world where of the top 100 economies, 69 are companies, we cannot just ask government or NGOs to take this responsibility.