The best leaders operate on good Intent – that is, they look at what they can GIVE their people to make them as good as they can be. Poor leaders are out for themselves and TAKE control of all decisions to guarantee a result that makes them look good.
There are in fact only 7 things a good leader can ever give:
All 7 of these options are available to any line manager who has the organisational hierarchical authority to execute any of these (obviously within constraints of budgets/promotions etc).
It is slightly different in a matrix set up as some employees are not the direct reports of the line manager – but most of the above criteria for giving can still apply.
Imagine a scenario where Gary is the boss and Sean is seconded or allocated to Gary’s team or project. Sean normally works for Wendy but Wendy agrees to loan Sean for reasons of both business and Sean’s growth (use the job to grow the person).
Gary now has dotted-line responsibility for Sean and therefore needs to GIVE everything in his gift to do so. Whether this is for a few hours, days or weeks, Gary can and should give 5 of the 7 items mentioned above:
Therefore 5 out of 7 of the main GIVES can still happen in matrix organisations. The remaining 2 rely on excellent co-operation and collaboration between Gary and Wendy, always in Sean’s best interests. A particular bit of clarity between Gary and Wendy should be relative priorities for Sean when the workload exceeds normal expectations. – that is, which of his superordinates’ jobs gets priority when time conflict happens.
So whilst Gary doesn’t have direct line authority for Sean, if he delivers on the 5 things he can, he should have ‘earned’ authority and therefore ‘power by permission’ from Sean to hold him accountable for his contributions to Gary’s project.