Are we missing an opportunity? (The Contributor Model for Leaders)


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For decades organizations have wrestled with what to call the people in the organization that produce work products.

Well intended leaders may call them subordinates, resources, or followers while some leaders are more possessive and call them my employees or my people or even my staff.

Most people just accept the situation at face value as it is what it is.

Are we missing an opportunity?

Incredible leaders look for those small, simple changes that have a profoundly important impact.

Regardless of actual title or job role… what if a leader calls the people that produce work products CONTRIBUTORS? Meaning all of the people that contribute to an end result such as a goal or objective.

Contributors comprise everyone that plays a role in getting a result for you as a leader. Not just the people that administratively report to you. Think about other contributors such as vendors, consultants, financial support, technical support, procurement and shipping clerks, project managers, office managers, administrative staff…

Let’s talk opportunity…

  • Contributor mindset shift broadens perspective for leaders

Leaders using the contributor model will set goals more comprehensively thus getting better and more predictable results.

No longer will all the Key Resources be breaking out the Champagne when their finished multimillion dollar product is shipped half way around the world instead of down the street.

  • People want to feel valued

People strive to perform valuable work and want to be recognized accordingly and as an aspiring incredible leader you want to take every opportunity to deeply connect with people.

  • Being called a subordinate or follower gives the impression of less importance or even less value
  • Resources puts people in the class of things such as equipment.
  • My people or My Staff or My Employees depicts ownership and that is degrading on many levels.
  • Contributors makes people feel valued.

How to go about implementing this shift.

The next opportunity you have to plan a new initiative or result look at the full set of contributors involved in achieving the intended result. Then…

  • Begin with shifting language by swapping out staff, my people, or subordinate with contributors.
  • Weave it into conversation naturally until it is a habit.
  • Observe changes in yourself and in contributors.

Think about how this would work in your organization, make the shift, observe the results and come back and share a comment below.

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