Thursday, 7 December 2017

A Leader's Challenge

Every day brings it unique challenges.  Whether your business is prospering or languishing, or somewhere in between, no two days are identical. Your skills as a leader will always be tested in new and different ways.

To succeed you must depend upon the support of your team and the intrinsic skills and commitment that each individual brings to the table.  Your job is to maximize their performance each day and thus to bring closure to each challenge.

The question then is how best to secure this maximized performance. 

Should you use your motivational skills to stoke the flames of determination?  Should you step in and install a ‘how to’ approach for problem solving?  Maybe you roll up your sleeves and pitch in. Any of these tactics might help but you would likely have to hit the ‘repeat’ button each time a new challenge presents itself.

There may be a place for any of these approaches in certain circumstances.  But the one that produces the best and most rewarding results is when you encourage your staff to THINK FOR THEMSELVES.  Define the problem and what would represent an acceptable outcome and then let them get to it.  You are there to equip and facilitate and offer advice when asked.  Your fingerprints don’t need to be all over the solution and you don’t need credit for the success.  The success (or failure) of the team is the testimony of your leadership.

As the leader, what do you need to do to define your success?  I submit the following:

1.    The courage to let go to offer others the opportunity to grow.
2.     A willingness to allow failure to teach because not all outcomes will be a success.
3.     Humility that rejoices when others receive praise while you simply reflect their success.
4.    Satisfaction when these three come together to the mutual benefit of the team.

Those who understand authentic leadership recognize that you can move forward by stepping back when others are recognized for their contributions.  Curiously, there is always enough praise to go around.

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