You’ve probably heard the phrase, “too many cooks in the kitchen.” As one who likes to cook I can say that when I’m cooking a nice meal there is maybe room for two cooks, but usually I just like one…me. The great thing about me being the only cook is that the meal has the best chance of becoming exactly as I imagined it to be since I’m the only one preparing the food. I don’t like other people making the potatoes in a different way than I want, or using another method for marinading the chicken. By controlling the kitchen, when we sit down to eat, the meal is perfect…at least I think so.
The problem with having only one cook is that is it possible (maybe even probable) that someone makes a better chicken marinade than I do. Maybe their marinade isn’t better, but they see how I’m making mine and suggest adding some seasoning that takes the chicken from good to WOW. There is definitely risk in adding cooks, but there is also a potential for significant reward.
In leadership we can quickly find ourselves in a position of too many cooks, or voices, that can send the vision off track and out of control. That is a risk that can lead many of us to limit the direction of our teams to one voice…ours. While this may insure that the vision is exactly what you saw it to be, it doesn’t mean that the vision becomes all it can be. The truth is there are people on all of our teams that have great ideas, suggestions, criticisms, and that extra seasoning that takes the vision from good to WOW.
The question is, do they have a voice?
Is there risk? Yes.
Can it be frustrating sometimes? Totally.
Is it vital to your success. Absolutely
Sometime soon, ask a couple of your most trusted team members if they feel like the team has a voice. They may say “yes” and if they do, great job! However, they may so “no.” That may sting a little, but making that change could just be the thing that takes your team to WOW.