The DLF (Dominion Leadership & Freedom) has the intrinsic gift to make things bigger and better. That’s just how they think. “World Domination” is not uncommon here. Whether this is in business or family, everything can be bigger and better, even if it doesn’t have to be. The core competence to unlock the power of the DLF is scalable systems. The more systems are in place, the more the DLF can scale their gift to the world.
Yet recently, I have noticed a handful of DLFs struggle. I’d like to address why, especially in the context of work and working together. Or if you are trying to grow a business as a leader. (This is not to say all DLFs are leaders or in management. Some of the most successful DLFs administrate the vision of others. But these principles still apply to you. Trust me and read on.)
Individual Growth Has Limits
As a DLF, you have achieved griwth to this point for a reason. You are organized in thought and execution. You have your system of tasks and are wired for action and accountability. You know how to lead others and have no problem with being the boss, formally or informally.
But growth is different than scale. Growth has limits. Scale does not if the right conditions are in place.
The typical problem is that most DLFs end up doing a lot themselves. They are as busy as they want to be. Often requiring very little rest and can persevere with a task for prolonged periods of time. But even though you productivity might outpace 84% of the population, every individual has their limits. This is particularly true in organizations.
Think Systems, Not “Assembly Lines”
“Why can’t they just do it the way I tell them?” is what many DLFs think when it comes to the execution team that surrounds them. They get frustrated and people start to know and feel it. Slowly a culture of fear and resentment start to sink in. In the worst case scenario, there is rebellion and betrayal from within. The issue is that the DLF tends to think in terms of an assembly line. They line others up, give them a task and expect productivity and efficiency to be beautiful.
The problem is that assembly lines only work when you need just that, an assembly line. When it comes to stamping widgets or building cars, assembly lines are great. Yet there is a reason robots are taking over assembly lines these days. If you need people to think, as in solve problems in a creative manner, you need a different type of system.
Freedom Systems Are the Ultimate Scalability
The synchronized DLF knows how to empower others to be individuals as part of a team. They know how to communicate vision and objectives and provide the space for others to take ownership. The DLF needs to provide freedom in the system to scale with people. People need to be free to do it their way and grow through the process. The three most important questions a DLF will always ask is:
How would you do it?
Why would you do it that way?
Can you tell me more?
These three questions, if you take the time to ask them and really listen, will release the ultimate freedom system into an organization. Now provide some boundaries and give them the freedom to learn and grow by doing it. You don’t like to be micromanaged. Guess what? The most talented people on your team, that will take the organization to new levels, don’t like to be micromanaged either.
“My Way” Will Always Lead to the “Highway”
“It’s my way or the highway” is actually not always a bad thing. Sometimes people need to hit the highway because they aren’t part of the team. The DLF will always seek loyalty before competence. That being said, if more people hit the highway than stay on the team, you should examine this closely. One of the ways to really tell if there is an issue is the manner in which people choose the highway. If it is consistently with emotional bloodshed, or they burn/bomb/betray all relationships on the way out, then the DLF needs to take a good look in the mirror.
The same freedom you give to people in systems is the same freedom people should feel if they don’t want to be part of your system anyway.
Disengagement is the Highway Nobody Wants to Acknowledge
Here is one last tip. As a DLF leader or manager, if you have disengaged people on your team, they have already chosen the highway whether you want to acknowledge it as such or not. (Unfortunately I have met a few DLFs that choose to be in complete denial here.) It doesn’t mean they can’t come back, but recognize your team is there. Your job is to determine whether that disengagement is your responsibility. People need autonomy to stay engaged. You are designed to provide autonomy in the form of freedom systems. But if you have built an assembly line versus an actual freedom system, the onus is all on you. Yes, you are the problem. The best part is no other gift has the ability to fix it for bigger and better results than you do.