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Top 10 Ways CEOs can empower their teams to accelerate growth

It's no surprise to any CEO that empowering team members is a crucial component of success. However, this is often easier said than done. Giving up control can seem counterintuitive and downright uncomfortable for a CEO, as it can feel like you're relinquishing your grip on the reins.

As a CEO, you must relinquish some control to allow team members to grow and develop. You need to create an environment of psychological safety where ideas and feedback can flow freely and fearlessly. This will help foster an open dialogue, which is essential for a strong team dynamic.

The challenge for the CEO is to resist the urge to take control when things start to feel uncomfortable. Instead of stepping in to take control of a situation, the CEO should take a step back and allow team members to take the lead. This encourages people to express their ideas and take ownership of tasks without fearing being judged or criticized.

Creating an atmosphere where people feel comfortable voicing their opinions and won't be penalized for mistakes is essential. This means encouraging a culture of trust and understanding in which everyone can take the initiative without worrying about repercussions.

Creating an environment of psychological safety is no easy task, but it is essential for team success. The CEO must learn to give up some control and let the team take charge. This allows everyone to stretch and grow while helping to create an environment of trust and understanding.

Ultimately, the biggest challenge for a CEO is to foster an environment of psychological safety and give up “some” control. Doing so encourages team members to take the initiative, express their ideas, and take ownership of tasks. This can help create a strong team dynamic that is essential for success.

Here are ten tips from Timothy R Clark in an HBR article:

  1. Assign someone else to conduct the meeting
  2. Don't sit at the head of the table
  3. Create warmth and informality
  4. Model acts of vulnerability
  5. Stimulate inquiry before advocacy
  6. Reward challenges to the status quo
  7. Push back with humor and enthusiasm
  8. Buffer strong personalities
  9. Listen and pause
  10. Give highly targeted praise and recognition

 

In my experience with over a dozen founders and CEOs, my three most important are;

Buffer strong personalities

The thing with strong personalities is that they can be really effective when it comes to getting things done. However, it's important to balance them out so that they don't dominate the agenda or strategy. This is especially important when the strong personality is you.

Reward challenges to the status quo

Strategic risks require a different mindset and approach. They can be uncomfortable, but they are essential to driving growth and outpacing your competition. Don't be dismissive - it's going to be uncomfortable, but it's necessary if you want your team to be empowered to challenge the conventional way of thinking. Empowering your team to fail fast will drive incremental growth.

Stimulate inquiry before advocacy

It's important to solicit opinions from across the organization. Don't always do this to the same person or set of people or leaders. This helps to stimulate inquiry and encourages different perspectives. It can also help to identify potential problems and challenges that need to be addressed. By engaging in this type of dialogue, we can better identify the needs of our community and better serve them.

 

Source: How a CEO Can Create Psychological Safety in the Room; by Timothy R. Clark