Could you be your own best boss?
What does freedom, autonomy, and power mean to you in your work life? One of my favorite thought leaders, Adam Grant, dissects the concept of self-management.
At the start of 2018, celebrated organizational psychologist and bestselling author Adam Grant launched a new podcast series with TED called WorkLife, in which he visits companies “where they have mastered something that (he wishes) everyone knew about work.” In his 7th episode he explores “How to be your own best boss and not your worst employee.”
The desire for freedom is part of what makes us human. “But is it possible to build a whole workplace that runs productively on self-management?” Grant asks. To find the answer, he visits Morning Star, a tomato processing company founded on this very philosophy. At Morning Star, your mission — written by you — is your only boss. Traditional managerial responsibilities like resolving conflict and firing people fall to everyone on the team.
Even if you or your company isn’t ready to take as radical a stance as Morning Star, possibilities for autonomy and job crafting exist in any and every organization. No one has to give you permission to reshape your job and how you work to be more in line with the core parts of yourself – and to enable your teams to do the same! “If you are a manager,” Grant concludes, “you can probably give your teams more freedom than you realize…”
To go further, see the full podcast here: “A World Without Bosses”
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