A leader is often the person that helps a team reach a goal that they otherwise thought they could not achieve. They inspire everyone around them to act and persevere until the goal is achieved. In many ways, their constituents look to the leader for encouragement and direction. Their guidance is what helps the team overcome adversity.
At times, people think that the leader has all the answers and is knowledgeable or a subject matter expert. If a leader falls into the trap of being all for everyone, they will not be successful. In order for a leader to be effective and efficient, they need to give up and let go certain things.
Here are some of the things a leader must give up:
- Making all decisions – leaders must empower their people that are closest to the problem to come up with solutions or recommendations, because they are the domain experts.
- Let go – at times we are tempted to do everything ourselves, because we can get it done faster. Also we deemed that the times spent on teaching someone can best be served addressing the issue. But that is a false expectation. If we don’t teach everyone around us to fish, they will always expect us to give them the fish. It is best to invest the time to teach someone; this way they can help in the future.
- Talking at all times – it is important to communicate, but it is equally important to listen. By listening to your constituents, you will learn more about your audience and understand their challenges and identify opportunities.
- Control – extend the ropes for your people to prove to you that they can get it done. However, always be there to support and nurture them. Be there to catch them when they fall, but let them learn the lesson before they move on.
- Assuming perfection – you can try to be on top of the situation at all times, but you don’t have to be. You need to surround yourself with the right people to get things done. Knowing who to seek help from or tap to get things done is more important than trying to be the expert.
At times it is okay to give up; a leader must give up for the right reason. Empowering their constituents and investing the time to develop them will be key to the overall success of the organization.
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