How you win a knife fight

Have a friend with you carrying a gun.  

Photo credit to The Knowles Gallery

Are you facing a fight as a leader?  Is there a challenge that feels too big or too challenging?  In wisdom, hopefully,  you have spent time building a team of talented people who have permission to pull the trigger.  Some leaders will build teams of talent but they delegate actions instead of results.  This leadership mistake creates team members who hesitate to act because they have always been told what to do.

A company like Zappos is killing it with customers because of their level of service.  Zappos gives the green light to their costumer service reps to do the right thing.  I heard on a podcast a new record was set for longest call between a rep and a customer...over eight hours.  Their reps have no script, only the permission to do the right thing and to treat people well.  

The best way to give permission to team members is to seek their input.  Leaders begin to kill it when they say the following: "I am thinking we have __(insert problem or challenge here)___ what do you all think we should do?"  

This simple question is the entry point for team members into the battle.  Before the team members were onlookers but now they are participators.  The scene just changed from "my" battle to "our" battle.  

Please leave a comment and share what else you think gives your team permission to enter the battle?