During some small talk with a loan officer, he asked me what one leadership concept I would share if I only could tell him one. My answer: Indianapolis.

Here’s the concept: more major roads lead to Indianapolis than any other city in the country. The job of the leader is to define “Indianapolis” for their organization and then allow people latitude and freedom to get there in individual ways: going north, southeast, west, etc.; by using interstates, scenic routes or goat paths; and in cars, trucks, buses or bicycles. The “how” becomes far less important than the destination.

So much time is spent – unnecessarily – requiring people to achieve a goal in the same way. You need involvement and buy-in on determining “Indianapolis”, but you can allow so much flexibility in the methods to arrive there. Ultimately, it helps you gain support for the outcome when you don’t limit freedom around the inputs.

I wrote about Indianapolis in one of my earliest dots (see #29) and have used the concept so often that I keep a map of Indiana in my briefcase! It’s a powerful and simple visual to help you and your team stay focused on where you are headed.

 

 

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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