Why Leaders Tell People What to Do
When I was sixteen, I worked as a grocery clerk. On my second day on the job, I showed up at my work station a few minutes after the time to start to work.
The store supervisor called me over. He told me that I was late for work. He told me that the next time I was late for work, I would lose my job.
He said that the best way to arrive on time to come to the store fifteen minutes early and go to the break room. I could sit there on a fifteen minute break to relax, have a cup of coffee, put on an apron, and get mentally ready to go to work.
I enjoyed working for that store manager. He never told me not to do anything. However, he did teach me how to do a lot of things. He taught me how to deal with short-change artists. He taught me how to work with two hands when stocking shelves or putting groceries into a bag. He taught me how to pack bags so they would not burst and how to put similar goods in the same bag for the shoppers’ convenience.
I try to practice the same approach in all areas of my life. I tell people what I want, not what I do not want. Leaders tell people what to do, because simple, direct instructions are effective.