Recently I ran across a situation that reminded me of leaders needing to delegate responsibility while remaining engaged with what the team is doing. At one of my former employers we had a particularly thorny issue which required multiple groups to work together to address. It was important that I delegate resolution of the issue to the team, but it was also important that the team had a glimpse into some of my thinking on the issue. When I delegated the issue to one of my managers for resolution, I also articulated some guiding principles that the team needed to keep in mind while resolving the issue. What this allowed me to do was not only provide some considerations for the team to noodle over while coming up with a resolution to the issue but also empower the team to make the decision as to what to do about the issue.
Recently I had an interesting interaction on LinkedIn. A young man from a financial services company asked to connect with me, which I accepted. He immediately sent me a message asking to meet for coffee to conduct a personal financial review, and told me his other customers were VERY (yes he “e-yelled” VERY) satisfied with the work he did. Aside from the fact that I’m satisfied with my existing financial advisor, I have a bit of a problem with someone on LinkedIn pitching me right after connecting. I replied with a simple “No Thanks.”
A few days later he responded back thanking me and asking why I declined. I had to decide whether to just ignore his question or respond. I looked at his profile and decided that he really wanted to know and that I could help him with his connect à pitch technique. I told him that I thought his trying to sell me right after connecting was disingenuous; that he didn’t take any time to learn about me and didn’t try to develop any rapport points. He then responded with “When did I try to sell you?” I told him that asking to do a personal financial review and telling me his other customers were VERY satisfied felt like he was pitching me. He then responded with “When did I ask to review your personal finances?” At this point I was curious as to where this was going, so I did a copy/paste from his original message that asked to do a personal financial review. This is where it got really interesting. He responded with the following:
Secrets of success? Oh puh-leeze. There aren't any secrets of success in my opinion. Success is achieved through things that we've been taught to do for years and years. Good old-fashioned hard work is one of your strongest foundations to ensure meeting your life goals. In addition, building the following pillars on the foundation of hard work will increase the likelihood that you can meet those goals and achieve your dreams. Check out these four pillars and see if any resonate with you:
He hadn’t researched my company, didn’t understand what products we developed beyond our flagship product, and didn’t know what types of jobs we were looking to fill. The most amazing thing, though, was that he came in expecting me to sell him on the company versus him demonstrating why he was someone worth pursuing. My decision was made in the first minute of the interview. It was my easiest interview of the day.
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