Enable Trickle Up Leadership for Better Employee Performance

In a world where we continue to document the role of "bad bosses" in employee turnover, we are obsessed with improving leadership. The years and resources companies invest in training better leaders is monumental. And yet the problem persists.

We keep trying to out-train human nature, which is to adopt the behaviors that preceded us (even against our better judgement.) We inherit from our past bosses in the same way we inherit from our parents.

Here we can apply Albert Einstein's famous advice, "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

Of course, invest in your current leaders. But ignore everyone else at a cost. A good amount of your leaders are too set in their ways for it to make a huge difference.

Where can you really see impact for your training dollar? On people who are still excited about their jobs. Who are exited about being changemakers. Who don't yet accept a toxic workplace as the norm.

How? Respect and Relationships. That applies to everyone.

We want "Intrapreneurs", but in toxic or disempowered workplaces that is a tall order. Not all of us were built to assume responsibility in a relationship, and most of us have been conditioned to think it is all in the boss' hands. 

Employees should be expected to influence their relationship with their boss. Instead of being conditioned to accept a bad leader, they are much more likely to actually become a good leader. I call this "Trickle Up Leadership"

When given the opportunity to step into a leadership role, they will not merely be walking into it with baggage that now needs to be out-trained. Instead they will ALREADY be on track, as Simon Sinek says, to "Be the leader you wish you had."

Trickle up leadership teaches anyone to effectively manage the relationships that are connected to performance results, and expects the best of people to prevail regardless of hierarchy.

Better leadership will always be a worthwhile pursuit, but logic tells us that the leaders we inherit are the same people whose experience of leadership has already been heavily influenced by outdated practices and cultural "infections" of their current leaders.

Here are some tips for employees, to take on an active role in their manager relationship. If you are looking to shake up your cooperation and communication skills but not sure how, have a look and share this with your team.

12 Ways to Turn a Tough Boss into your #1 fan

  1. Treat your boss like a customer
  2. Learn what your boss cares about
  3. Play for the same team
  4. Step it up
  5. Have Boundaries
  6. Communicate
  7. Give them the benefit of the doubt
  8. Work above your pay grade
  9. Performance is more than productivity
  10. Don’t just come to work. Show up
  11. Do your job better than you think it deserves
  12. Claim your value — not less, not more

Download the 20 page deck here: http://bit.ly/2DPbeQx

Ambra Sultzbaugh