Continuing On Daniel Pink's 3 Things: Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose

By Patrick Thean

Last time I wrote about Dan Pink's three things: Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.  Let's talk about Autonomy!
If you give someone complete free reign to get something done, how do you inspect what you expect so 61MnRyNuIDLthat you avoid getting blindsided by the person missing their goals totally?  It does not help their motivation either if they missed their goals totally.  And what role should you, the manager, play in a world of autonomy?
My thoughts on Autonomy - Giving you the freedom to choose how you will achieve your goal.
Manager's Role:  To be helpful and provide you with feedback and insight for you to succeed.
Autonomy does not equal anarchy.
Here's a suggestion for Managers and Leaders to use Autonomy and help team members be even more successful:  
  • Define what the goal is with Red Yellow Green success criteria, so it is clear and objective
  • Ask your team member what you both can review or inspect to confirm that he/she is on track
  • Ask your team member how you can help.  
This way your team member owns the process of both of you inspecting what you expect, and invites feedback on things that you can help.  The key idea here is that the team member owns the process and their success, versus you the manager owning the process and their success.
Autonomy = take a goal, add in RedYellowGreen, sprinkle in a leading indicator, and allow the team member to direct how you provide feedback and help on a weekly basis.
Try it and let me know how it works for you!

Patrick Thean


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