“It’s pretty good, but it isn’t great.”
My CEO client was looking at the plans for a product launch event. His staff had done all the prep and they were excited to get started as soon as he gave the go-ahead. Problem was, he liked the plan but he knew he could do better. He wondered about sending back an alternative idea, or at least making some changes to the one they’d given him.
“Dude,” I said. “Don’t screw this up. Tell them you love it and that you’re here if they need help; then get the heck out of their way. A B-plus plan done with 100 percent enthusiasm is better than an A-plus plan done with 20. Or even 80.”
In case you want another take, here’s an easy question: If your team members were planning an office party and came up with a good idea that they were 100% crazy about, would you tell them, “gee, that’s not bad, but I’ve got an even better idea that I want you to do, instead”? Of course you wouldn’t! You know the party will be much better if they bring all their energy to the plan they came up with, rather than a little bit of energy to the plan you came up with.
The same logic applies to their “real” work, too, not just party planning.
Ownership matters. When people own things, they do them with 100% enthusiasm. If they know you trust them to learn from their experience, they’ll evaluate honestly and they’ll suggest their own adjustments and improvements, which they’ll also pursue with enthusiasm.
Great leadership is often achieved by Staying Out of the Way!