Leadership Quick Hits – March 4, 2015

Leaders, allow me to make a suggestion: when looking to maximize and empower new leaders, please don’t approach it from the standpoint of “I can already do this well, but I’m willing to let it take a hit and give that away to someone else to own.”

While this may, in fact, be true in some instances, it also communicates a number of negative things to your team at a time where you’re trying to do the exact opposite. Empowerment and handing over authority should be received positively and welcomed gladly by your team. So, what may be the disconnect?

1) It says to your team that they’re not needed. Merely allowed to participate.
2) It says you have low expectations for the results. If you were to continue doing this, it would flourish, but handing it over, you don’t have the same confidence.
3) It says you have no weaknesses. Teams are built to compliment and fill in the gaps we leave behind, not to handle the things we don’t want to be bothered with.

Instead, the next time you’re looking for ways to build up your team and provide real steps for real leadership development, consider looking at the areas you’re not so strong in. Give those away first. And do it with a humble heart. Doing so will go much further in communicating positive things to your team.

1) It says I can’t do this on my own. My team is valued and needed.
2) It says you have much higher expectations for the team than what you can deliver alone. It raises the bar and encourages new growth and new development.
3) It says you’re willing to acknowledge and work on your weaknesses. Your team sees you’re willing to be vulnerable and not hold tightly to the vest that which you are unable to do well. You’re willing to give up authority in areas in which others excel.

Learn to acknowledge your own weaknesses while maximizing the strengths of your team. In turn, they’ll begin to do the same.

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