I had a conversation recently with a woman who was chastised by her boss for venturing too far outside her job description. Since she thrives on creativity, she was very discouraged and demotivated. As she talked more about it, she realized that this attitude is pervasive in her company. It didn’t take long before she was questioning whether this was the right place for her.
Rules Are Necessary Too
What message are you sending to your team members about staying in their lane? Of course, in some functions following the rules is required and valued. Does that mean you don’t want people thinking creatively and trying to come up with better ways of doing things?
It’s a Judgement Call
It could be that you are more comfortable staying in your lane, so it might feel a little threatening for someone on your team to get too far from the norm. It might be more challenging to motivate people who don’t like to stay in their lane. At the end of the day, you have to decide what is most valuable to your organization.
People who stray outside their lane often challenge the status quo, which isn’t always a popular position. Politics aside, think of the impact of those who did: Martin Luther King, Jr., Steve Jobs, Gloria Steinem, and more recently, Ted Cruz. Can you afford not to have some nonconformists in your company?