Optimizing Leadership Performance Through Delegation of Authority

, Optimizing Leadership Performance Through Delegation of Authority

Everyone in an organization has the right to be an expert in their respective fields. The sentence was uttered by John Shook, a trainer for the giant Toyota car assembly company, to Charles Duhigg, author of the book Smarter Faster Better, when he recalled his involvement as a trainer for employees of ex General Motors, a colleague of the Toyota Production System in America. Engaged in the same field, after two years ending its activities in Fremont, in 1984 General Motors accepted the Toyota Production System’s offer to cooperate in establishing New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. or commonly referred to as NUMMI. Land in Fremont is reopening. Bound by an agreement with United Auto Workers, NUMMI is required to hire at least 80% of former General Motors employees. Therefore, special training is required for these employees. The training did not only cover the introduction of new tools, but the main thing was the way of work and culture that had been developed by Toyota all this time. At the start of the cooperation agreement, rumors that Toyota was implementing a different work system were spread by former General Motors employees. John Shook, among other things, stated that Toyota believes that a receptionist, or toilet cleaner, or a cleaning service person is an expert in their respective fields. It is a huge waste of time to mistrust their skills and make the most of them. Toyota does not like activities that waste time. The system they have used so far is to ensure that even the slightest skill is never wasted.
This philosophy was initially doubted by General Motors. They even think that the system is impossible to implement in America, considering that so far their work target is only to do as little work as possible. Over time, this work system has proven to bring significant progress for NUMMI and also for the former General Motors employees personally.
What kind of work model did Toyota apply at that time until the economic crisis hit America four years after NUMMI was founded, and the company was unable to even fire any of its employees? The following are important things that are appropriate to apply to the leadership model of a company or organization based on this important experience:

Give full authority to employees in any position. Believing that they are experts in their respective fields has been proven to give a significant boost to self-confidence which ultimately forms a commitment to work more optimally from time to time.
Confidence and commitment to work better will form better collaboration among employees. Each employee in their respective field will feel the need to support the work of colleagues in other fields so that the desired end result is achieved.
Employees who are trusted in their fields are also trusted to make important decisions for the company. This habit will greatly benefit the leader/manager in terms of time efficiency in determining decisions made by experts. The doors of innovation will then open more easily.

In the end, the important thing that must always be maintained is how a leader is able to create a work atmosphere/culture that makes employees become important figures whose opinions and decisions are respected. A culture of focus on solutions will be created when the failure of an employee’s suggestion does not make him bear the blame alone.

Written by Nastiti

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