As a leader or owner in a business or organization, do you ever wonder why members of your team don't buy-in or take initiative like you would like them to?
Recently I was speaking with a team member of a local brewery. This team member was showing me pictures he and his teammates had taken of the team pretending to have fatal accidents on the job. He was going to have these photos photo-shopped to include ridiculous images of aliens and blood and explosions. Finally, when the pictures were ready, the plan was to post these pictures on the brewery's facebook page and describe these scenes as what happens when the boss/owner is away (owner was away on vacation).
It was brilliant.
These photos are the kind of things people share and talk about, and this is exactly the kind of campaign that drives people to think about the brewery and bring business there. So, even though this idea came completely from the team, the boss/owner will be thrilled.
Friends standing around me remarked how great this boss/owner must be. I nodded and asked the team member a question, "how much do you feel like you get to speak into the direction of the business?" He paused, and then he remarked, "actually, I feel like I have a lot of influence."
This is key.
These team members bought in and took responsibility and initiative in the business because they had ownership in it's direction. This doesn't mean that they solely direct the ship, but it does mean that they get to weigh-in, and when the team is allowed to weigh-in, they will more likely buy-in.
As a leader or owner in a business or organization, you should understand that it's natural for team members to not feel the same level of responsibility as you. It's your start-up, it's your baby.
However, if the organization is going to grow, a key part of that growth is for you the leader to give the team opportunities to weigh-in and speak about what they think is possible for the business, and also what they think could get in the way of it's success. When this happens, transfer of responsibility can happen and the team can scale into more ownership and initiative.
'Cause when the team weighs-in, they will more likely buy-in.