Check out the full notes for “Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual” by Jocko Willink
Tool: Plan from the bottom up and reviewed from the top
In Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual, Jocko Willink compares two of his Platoon Commanders early in his career as a SEAL. One of them wanted complete ownership over planning. The other allowed his reports to do the planning but he would review it.
The leader that wanted complete ownership over planning couldn’t detach from his own plans. He couldn’t take a higher level look at it. He would blame others when things went wrong: the plan was poorly executed or there were outside factors.
The second leader allowed his reports to plan missions. From Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual:
I was always impressed that we could spend four or five hours poring over the presumptive operation, staring at the map, discussing and poking holes in our ideas, and when we would finally present the plan to Delta Charlie, he would quickly assess it and point out a few problems. It was amazing. He seemed like a tactical genius. But what I realized later was that he was detached from the planning process, so he could see it from altitude and easily see where the holes were.
Because they did the planning, the reports felt ownership over it and were more motivated to execute it properly during mission.
Find a way to detach from your plan. Step away from your drafts. Have someone else review your outlines. If you’re leading others, remember that their feeling of ownership is important. You’ll always have that feeling, because you have other people looking to you to lead. Find opportunities for them to reinforce their own feelings of ownership.