Empower with Processes: Part 2 of 5

In the original post I discussed the five ingredients needed for leaders to empower their people and why they should want to do that. The first ingredient is Systems which I discussed in this post. The next ingredient is Process. Warning: This is a longer than the usual 30 seconds post, probably about 2 minutes.

First we need to truly know what a process is, so read the definition unless you already know.

As you can see the three key aspects of a process are that it is typically continuous, sequential, and works towards a specific end. Note this is different then a system which we discussed in Empower with Systems: Part 1 of 5

A system is the combination of subsystems or processes linked together to form a whole. For example if you lead finance you are leading a system that is itself part of a larger system. The finance department is made up of different processes linked together: 1) audit, 2) accounts payable, 3) accounting, 4) budgeting, and etc.

In the example above each of those four processes are continuous, sequential and work towards a specific goal.

As a leader you should work with your team to help them create processes. The benefits are numerous but here are a few: 1) creates a sense of ownership, 2) prevents micro-managing, 3) increases odds of success, 4) makes your systems work better, 5) reduces the number of fire drills, 6) frees up time to focus on the harder parts of leadership like strategy and coaching.

If as a leader you are constantly jumping into the work of your people or creating fire drills - and you know your people are high performers - then you must instead spend more time helping them develop processes.

Its painful at times with our long list of things we believe we must do to make time to help develop processes. The ability to make time to do so is what separates strong leaders from weak leaders. 

Almost anything can be turned into a process, even creative activities. Anything from ideation and strategy formation, how to run meetings, disciplining, and of course more technical activities like customer support or closing the books at the end of the month.

Make time for processes if you want to be a strong leader.

Thompson Aderinkomi