One of the best gifts leaders can give their teams is predictability. Being predictable leaders has connotations of being bland and boring for some. This is because they don’t understand it and the contexts it should apply.
Predictability is a way of liberating and empowering your team. When there are recurring situations and you make the same decision each time, you empower your team. In your absence, or without your consultation they can take the actions you would’ve taken. Thus, the quality of the steps and their results they take are not compromised from the standard; i.e. the leader.
Never undermine how predictable leaders empower teams.
Being predictable is the basis of creating self-sustaining systems. There are routine decisions that leaders must make or approve. However, they must be careful to always assess these decisions.
Do they have any bearing on strategic issues? What would be the impact on the organization if someone else beside, me as the leader made this decision?
Being predictable makes you more approachable. One of the reasons I’ve learned on why some issues take a long time to raise is because teams have no idea how their leader will react.
Every leader must strive to have great relationships with his team. They have a direct and great impact on their output. Relationships create a platform for team members to not only understand each other but their leader.
Predictability can only be fostered when leaders are open about how they arrive at decisions for those recurring situations. They can work at being predictable by emphasizing the values of their enterprise as the framework for all actions.
The predictable help create capacity and reserve energy for the unpredictable ones
If you’re always acting on the values of your enterprise as the basis for your actions, it makes you more predictable. Your team will take cues from this. Contexts may differ but values are a compass and anchor.
Don’t be that leader who challenges his teams to take initiative and be upset when they do and when they don’t take initiative. It is this unpredictability that takes confidence away from the team.
In working toward predictability, you make highlight why actions taken by your team may not have been the best but celebrate that they took action.
When your team knows that when they have done the best they can do to make the best decision and that ultimately you will praise them for taking action, they will act more boldly. They will even be more inspired to innovate.
Predictable leaders equip their teams to plan without having to check everything with their leaders. Thus, teams with predictable leaders are rapidly advancing teams compared to ones with unpredictable ones.
Leaders who make being unpredictable a team functioning value, hurt their enterprise more than those who are predictable. You might just want to have a conversation with your team about where they need you to be more predictable. Lead well ;-)