By David Lykken
Special to MPA
As a leader in your organization, you have to rely heavily on a great number of people to move business forward and make the organization work. You have to have a great amount of trust in the people working in the various departments--that they know how to do their jobs and that they have the organization's best interests at heart. You can't have your hand in every project; you've got to allow a certain amount of autonomy to your people.
That being said, there is a way in which you can have your hand in every project without ever actually touching it. Tactically, you have to let your employees do their work. You hire them for their competency, so you can trust them to get the job done. But strategically, you can have a tremendous influence over how your employees do their work and the choices they make on a day-to-day basis.
You set the strategic vision for your organization. You decide the guiding principles by which people will operate. You can alter your organization's trajectory by laying the proper groundwork. The question is, have you done it? Do your employees across all departments operate under the same vision and principles? Can they connect everything they do back to your core values?
If you don't set a strategic path for your organization, it's going to go in a million different directions. As the leader of your team, your primary role is to create a cohesive workplace. Your direction provides consistency across the entire group. Where you lead, they will follow.