All of the Responsibility, None of the Authority


What happens when the people closest to the customer can’t tell the truth? Sadly, nothing happens, nothing at all. No relationship building, no brand ambassadorship, no elevated user experiences. Yuk.

When employees feel the full weight of the power of your decisions (the impact! the pressure!) and are in the hot seat when things go wrong…and they can’t do anything about it, apathy sets in. All of the responsibility, none of the authority is a real “sh*t sandwich. (Watch Jennifer Thornton talk about another kind of sh*t sandwich here.) And it’s no way to grow a company.

Step away from a control-based, directive style and lean into a trust-based, empowered style of high-level leadership and give your teams, when faced with a tough decision or customer, the agency to take action.

This approach will go a long way in creating the kind of invested relationships that enjoy brand loyalty, repeat customers, and low turnover. Now that’s a club sandwich we can get into.

If your staff closest to the customer had your trusted ear, without any fear of pushback or paralysis, what would they say? Unsure? Go ask them. They’ll be glad you did.




304 is the Talent Strategy & Leadership Consultant and Neuroscience Expert that helps organizations understand how the brain wants to work so that we can thrive at work. Learn more about neuroleadership.

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