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More from my experience at the GLS!

Today I continue my series on: What I learned from The Global Leadership Summit (GLS)  which I attended on August 10, 11. Here is the link to the last post on this topic GLS 

Laszlo Bock (Google) was one of the speakers. He wrote a book titled  Work Rules--  a great read which I highly recommend.  There is a “Book Note” on this which you can find at

Here are three thougts from his talk.

 1.  “The biggest single mistake organizations make is not trusting their people”

In his seminal book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” Patrick Lencioni mentions absence of trust as the first team dysfunction from which actually flow the other four. It all begins with someone saying of their leader, “I don’t trust you.” When you lose trust, you can eventually lose it all.

Now I knew, before hearing this from Bock, that a lot of leaders have a difficult time trusting those they lead.  They are thus unable to grant decision-making authority to those on their team; but when he said it was the single biggest mistake which organizations make, he really got my attention. I believe that there is a clear pathway on this.

Trust leads to delegation which leads to releasing which leads to removing.

I trust someone (don’t hire or bring on a volunteer whom you don’t trust to do what you’re asking them to do) and can therefore delegate decision-making authority to them and then I release that person to use their God-given gifts, imagination and passion to do their job without micro-managing or controlling them. High trust leads to low control, whereas low trust leads to high control.

After I have trusted, delegated and released them, I remove myself from the details of that person’s work and can now focus on the things that only I can do. I believe that one of the reasons we read of burned-out leaders is that many leaders try to do too much themselves and don’t do a good job of delegating decision-making authority to others (Read Exodus chapter 18 on this as well as “Levels of Authority” by Michael Hyatt under the “Articles” tab at

2. “People need to constantly be connected to the bigger picture, the organizational mission”

People are motivated when they sense and believe that their work is meaningful and making a significant contribution. The leader does well to consistently remind people that what they do connects to, and is an integral part of, something grand and exciting. Connecting one’s work to the bigger picture (from my experience) lifts esprit de corps across the board and results in more productivity and joy, to the glory of God!

 3.  “The people actually doing the work know better how to do it than the manager. Give people more autonomy, more freedom than you are comfortable with

This is related to number 1 above, but I want to underscore the phrase, “more freedom than you are comfortable with.” I may not be 100% comfortable with letting go of some things and staying out of the details, but I need to do it anyway. It’s all part and parcel of getting out of my comfort zone and being okay with not feeling comfortable as I trust others. How about being 70% comfortable instead of waiting for 100% and trusting God for the rest? It’s about taking calculated risks, which an effective leader definitely needs to do more and more of.

What has been your experience? I’d like to see your comments below.





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