Imagine a typical organisational hierarchy.

A boss is harassing the department head who’s bugging the manager who’s checking on the supervisor who’s watching the worker… and everyone’s watching their back. By assuming that everyone in the organisation is either stupid, dishonest or both, this hierarchy flattens initiative and generates a neurotic, paranoid culture.

Which is fine… until the organisation needs to adapt, change or innovate. That’s when everybody has to stop Cracking Down and start Stepping Up.

But for the worker to Step Up, the supervisor has to Step Back, to give just enough time, space and trust to see what these people can really do. But the super can’t show that kind of leadership until the manager takes a Step Back, which is unlikely until the department head takes a Step Back, which means the boss has to take a Step Back…

When we Step Back, even just a little, we not only give someone else the chance to Step Up, but we liberate ourselves from the tedious business of controlling every damn thing that goes on around (and below) us. That means our desks, our calendars and (more importantly) our minds are free to tackle more important, longer term challenges, the kind of leadership issues and opportunities that you were supposed to be dealing with before you got so caught up in all the teeny, knucklehead stuff.

So that small Step Back is really a Big Step Up for you as well.

And One Giant Leap for everybody.

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Written by Jason Clarke

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Celebrated author, adventurer, gold medal Olympian and popular TV chef; Jason is none of these things. He is, however, one of the most sought-after creative minds in the country. As founder of Minds at Work, he’s helped people ‘think again’ since the end of the last century, working with clients across Australia in virtually every industry and government sector on issues ranging from creativity and trouble shooting to culture change and leadership.