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What does it mean to be a Good Authority?

In short, the idea is this: More Yoda, Less Superman. 

By shifting your mindset to asking questions, and breaking feedback and accountability down into actionable steps, you'll cultivate personal ownership on your team in a powerful new way.

Here are some thoughts on the answers to the quiz:

"The most common thing my team comes to talk with me about is ..." 

You want your team to feel comfortable coming to you for help with challenges, how to learn from mistakes, and how they can use their job to grow as a whole human being. If you answered “Check in about projects and tasks”, it means they're relating to you as more of a supervisor, who they believe needs or wants to sign off on everything (whether you want that or not!). Alternatively, if you answered “To talk about someone else on the team”, that's a cue that your office has become too much of a space to vent, and your employees need you to set clearer boundaries on how they should be taking matters into their own hands.

"I give my boss and/or co-managers feedback about how I see them treating the team."

The ideal answer is “Often”. Part of being a leader is challenging your fellow leaders, otherwise, it’s highly likely that a leadership echo chamber results. If you answered "Rarely" or "Never" ask yourself what your fear is about, and who can you have a conversation with today to help you get over the hurdle?

"If I'm honest, the message I'm sending to my team is ..."

If you answered “Door is always open.”, your day is likely full of distractions and excessive task-switching, leaving you little time or energy for the creative and strategic work that is of the highest value for your role. If you answered “Door is always closed.” your team is probably missing out on having you as a mentor. Like many things in life, the sweet spot is right in the middle.

You can tell that your team is overwhelmed this week. Do you?*

You can only rally the troops with a good pep talk so many times before the message rings hollow. The more sustainable approach is to use overwhelm as a doorway to start a new conversation, to talk with your team and/or fellow managers about what is causing that overwhelm and strain (both of which always lead to disengagement in the long run). Often, it's that there are too many projects happening at the same time, without sufficient clarity on where people should be putting their focus.

"As a team leader, I see my first priority as:"

Your job as a manager is to create results. And, it’s your responsibility to do that within your budget. What makes Good Authority different is that you're changing the starting point for how you go about it. By putting your focus on individual personal growth, including your own, you create a culture that generates results from the inside-out and needs far less top-down and external motivation (also a dead end in the long run). Good Authority sees the personal and in-role growth of each of their employees as their first priority.

"The number of times I'll talk to my friend, spouse or partner about someone at work I'm frustrated with is:"

The most common pattern managers and leaders fall into is sitting on what they feel, and letting the truth out only with family and friends. But by venting and complaining to our co-managers, spouses, and friends, we deprive employees of the most passionate version of ourselves — the leader who knows what excellence is and doesn't want to enable anyone else to show up in their life with anything else.  “Once or twice” to talk it out with the people close to you is the ideal, that helps you let out any unnecessary frustration or back pressure before you go and talk with your employee. Then it's time to go and have the conversation, however awkward it might be to start.

When it comes to creating a culture of accountability, how would you describe yourself?

Few of us would answer “This is my best quality." Whether you fell into the inconsistent category, or you answered “too tough” or “too soft”, now you have your next step. Don't beat yourself up about struggling to set clear boundaries and consequences, it's the hardest thing to do as a leader in the modern world, which is why you'll become indispensable as a leader when you do!

Questions or thoughts about something you read?  Send us an email at hello@refound.com