Should You Lay Down the Law with Employees?

Should You Lay Down the Law with Employees? image DATE: February 14, 2020

To Lay Down the Law means to help dream and set goals with your people. Because today’s workforce is looking for leadership that helps them achieve their personal and professional goals, leaders who successfully do that experience engaged teams, great culture, high performance, and more. Leaders who don’t successfully don’t set goals with their employees and follow through? Well, their leadership is dead. Today I’ll give you my Lay Down the Law tool to help take your leadership to the next level!

Should You Lay Down the Law with Employees?

Great leadership is all about developing other leaders. In order to do that, you must make time to serve them individually. If you’re in a place where you’ve been going through the motions day-after-day, or are spending all your free-time fighting fires around the office, or are scrambling to try and keep
your own head above water at work…then you’re not leading well. You haven’t made time. Instead, your leadership may be dead.

Can your leadership be revived?


One of the best places to start — Leadership Dreams.

Dream ” Leadership Dreams “

At the leader’s core, your focus should be on developing your people. It’s a high responsibility, and when done well, leadership is one of the most rewarding responsibilities you’ll ever undertake.

One of the best ways you can serve your people is to dream with and for them. Dream leadership dreams. Leadership dreams are not about your goals, it’s about your people’s goals. When was the last time you sat down with your people individually and had an open, honest, fruitful conversation about their strengths, weaknesses, what they want, how they can achieve their goals?

If it’s been a while, or if your answer is “never,” then that right there is exposing leadership that is dying. However, you can revive your leadership! You can engage your people and still achieve greater success than ever before. It’s not too late! 

Game Plan: Lay Down the Law

Laying down the law is a dreaming/goal setting process I have been practicing for years. I gave the process that name because this is serious business! All of civilization is kept in order by laws. If you break the law, the consequences can ruin your life. In the same way, once you lay down the law with your team, if you all break the law then you risk never achieving your goals!

Laying down the law a simple and extremely effective process for you to use with your people. All you do is help your people answer these questions:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What are your goals?
  3. How will you get there?

Who Are You?

As you work through this question with your employees (this process is different if you’re doing it for yourself), you’re trying to get to the heart of the person’s strengths and weaknesses. What do they bring to the table for the organization, what makes them stand out from their peers, what do they need additional training and guidance on?

When you BOTH have a really clear picture and are on the same page when it comes to the employee’s strengths and weaknesses, then you have a firm foundation to build upon.

What Are Your Goals?

This is the place to start making 1, 3, 5, 7-year concrete goals that you both are aware of.

With a mutually realistic understanding of the employee’s strengths and weaknesses, you can move on to goals. This is where you can start dreaming leadership dreams with and for your employees! On one hand, your employees may know exactly what they want to achieve personally and professionally by being a part of your company.

On the other hand, they may have no idea yet! It’s also possible that they don’t even realize their own potential. You can lead them to better, more fulfilling goals and dreams!

How Are You Going To Get There?

This is where the rubber meets the road, where you gain trust with your people, where you start earning their buy-in for the long haul. If you as a leader drop the ball here, your leadership might as well be dead. Your people will lose trust in you. A team that doesn’t trust each other has nothing.

You’re really answering the question here of how you as their leader are going to help them achieve their goals. What do they need to do. What do you need to do — can you provide additional training, civic involvement opportunities, increased responsibilities in their role, schedule more frequent feedback/coaching sessions with you, etc.

The possibilities are endless and must be tailored to their specific goals and what you are able to do. It’s important to be extremely nitty-gritty here. This is the place for exact steps, crystal clear expectations, things that need to go on the calendar, money that needs to be allocated, decisions that need to be made and so on.

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Empowering Leadership

As a leader, if you’re not dreaming, you’re dying.  Dream for yourself — what you want to achieve, the impact that you want to make. Dream for your people — what can they accomplish, how much better can they be, how can you help them.

When you help your people dream, you’re leading them to achieve their highest potential. THAT’S what leadership is all about! When your people crush their goals, achieve their dreams, then all the hard work you put in developing them becomes worth it. You’ve left a mark, made an impact, and have done your job as a leader! Also, your people will see and feel your investment in them and more often than not — they’ll give it back to you ten-fold. They’ll be more engaged, perform better, etc. This is a huge win for everyone!

So today, will you put your stake in the ground and start “laying down the law” with your people? Will you revive your leadership? Your people sure hope so and I hope so too. Wishing you huge success!

Need help to connect leaders & employees to get better performance? I can help! Let’s talk!

#leadershipdevelopmenttraining #goalsetting #performanceevaluations #empoweremployees #greatleadershiptools

About The Author:

Alyson Van Hooser, Leadership Keynote Speaker, Trainer on Millennials, Gen Z & Women in Business With the grit that only comes from tough experiences, Alyson has learned a thing or two about personal and professional success. From her management experience with Walmart, as an elected city council member, bank manager — all before the age of 30 — Alyson has wisdom well beyond her years! Her podcast, Stake: The Leadership Podcast, offers a fresh perspective on leadership and helps multiple generations successfully work together! Connect with Alyson on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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