By Howard Stanten MPT,CPCC
Far too many leaders and business owners are spending their days (and nights) fixing or telling someone else how to fix problems.
Then, the next problem clears it throat and calls to be fixed.
The leaders and entrepreneurs I work with often find themselves caught in the trap of working in their organization, company, or business vs. working on it. Result: Lots of movement and no one steering the ship. No one at the helm carrying a strategic vision or working on business development means a high likelihood of hitting a rock or getting grounded.
In my view, developing the leadership capacity of others should be at or near the top of every leader’s to do list. Ironically, this doesn’t involve “doing” as much it involves “Being With.”“Being with” is a capacity that slows down the process of “fixing the problem.” It is a capacity that provides an opportunity to notice, name, and call forth the leadership qualities of someone else. When a leader or owner fixes or tells someone else how to fix a problem, some short-term time may be saved, and an opportunity to grow a leader is lost.
Peeling back the onion, lack of time is rarely the real roadblock. Lack of trust often is. Instead of trust, there is fear that someone is going to make a mistake or fail.
The irony is you’ll never get to the big picture business planning and development activities if you don’t make the time to grow leaders. This means slowing down enough to notice, name, call forth, and develop the leadership qualities in others. And, this means accepting (even encouraging) mistakes as a necessary part of the process. I’m not referring to unprofessional mistakes like being late for a key meeting. Rather, mistakes that are the result of taking risks, initiative, and bold action.
The next time you find yourself saying, “It’s easier to just do it myself.” Take a deep breath and get wildly curious about the leadership qualities and potential of those around you. Make the time to Be With your people. Extend some trust. Maybe even talk about the time you took a bold swing and…. missed…and learned.
Then, send them off with a problem to be fixed that will grow them as a leader…..and get you back behind the steering wheel.
Howard Stanten MPT,CPCC is an Executive Leadership and Professional