In part 1 of the case of the no-tipping policy, I described how a no-tipping policy came into being and improved morale using two alternative descriptions: one described the case in terms of a leader-influence model, the other described it in terms of a leadership outcome model.

So what?  What difference does it make that I can take the same events and describe them in some alternative way?  Specifically, what difference does it make to a leader like Jay?

To refresh your memory, here’s the table from the last post describing the two alternative interpretations:

The leader-influence interpretation

The DAC outcome interpretation

Jay develops a vision of better teamwork and morale, to be realized through a no-tipping policy.

Jay comes to believe that practices associated with a no-tipping policy (such as pooling service charges and sharing them out) will increase DAC.

Jay must influence his employees using a combination of his authority, personal influence skills, and vision for change.

Since DAC is a shared outcome, Jay must assure that his belief about the positive effect of a no-tipping policy on DAC is shared by the staff.

Jay meets with the staff.  He succeeds in influencing them to buy into the no-tipping policy.

Jay meets with the staff.  As a result of the meeting, they all share a belief about the positive effect of a no-tipping policy on DAC.   

Jay’s vision is realized.  Teamwork and morale improve as a result of his leadership.

Their shared belief and the associated practices are validated.  Teamwork and morale improve as a result of their leadership.

Leadership is framed as the behavior of the owner and the process of influencing and getting buy-in from followers

Leadership is framed as the shared beliefs and practices that produce DAC.

Looking at things from Jay’s perspective, what difference do the interpretations make?   How would using one interpretation or the other make things different for Jay?  For his employees? For the business?

Imagine there are two Jays, identical in every way except for their interpretation of  leadership.  Call one Jay I (for “influence) and the other Jay O (for “outcome”).

Jay I frames his task as influencing (persuading, convincing) his employees that they should buy into his vision of the future.  Jay O frames his task as assuring that he and his employees share the belief that a no-tipping policy would produce better outcomes (better DAC).  A big difference here is that Jay I sees himself standing in relation to his employees as a force stands in relation to an effect.  He is the mover; they are the moved.   Jay O on the other hand sees both himself and his employees as being a force, as movers; it is their shared beliefs and behavior that is the effect and that needs moving.  He sees the whole way they all work together to create DAC as the object of leadership, not just the employees.

Of course, like Jay I, Jay O may (and doubtless will) use his powers of influence in the process of assuring that they all share a belief in the no-tipping policy.  But, since Jay O aims to create shared belief (not just influence others), he is likely to me more open to allowing followers to influence him, to use dialogue, to explore others’ ideas.  Jay I, on the other hand, is more likely to see such approaches as a distraction from the main event of getting people convinced.

The end result for Jay I is that his employees have been moved to buy into his vision.  The end result for Jay O is that they have all moved together to agreement on what will create better direction, alignment, and commitment among them all.   What’s the difference?  Don’t Jay I and Jay O end up in pretty much the same situation?  For now, maybe they do.  But in the future, Jay I will have to rely again on the vision-influence approach (which may or may not work again depending on the quality of the vision and the openness to influence of his employees), whereas Jay O has helped create an ongoing community that knows how to reach consensus.  I would argue that this is a more sustainable approach, more likely to work in a wider variety of circumstances in the future.

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