I love bobbleheads. In fact, I have a 3-foot high bobblehead of the football coach John Gruden. It was originally made as an advertisement for Corona beer and I was thrilled to add it to my collection.
While bobbleheads are fun for desk ornaments, they do not make good employees or teammates.
Too often our teams are nothing more than bobbleheads. Our people are so afraid to challenge the decisions that are being made that they just bob their head up and down and do whatever the boss says.
As leaders we need to challenge our teams to be open and honest with us. When our people are scared to come to us with disagreements, and they are afraid to challenge us, we turn our team into bobbleheads. They shake their head in agreement to avoid any conflict.
To avoid a team of bobbleheads, start conversations early and get feedback. Give clarity on what you want the team to accomplish and then get out of the way. True leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves. This gives your team the chance to do great things, while feeling supported by their leader.
Next time you see your team’s head bobbing back and forth, realize this is not what you need. It’s time to challenge them to truly weigh in. When you do this, there is no telling how far the team can go.
Until next time…I’m Marty, make every minute count.