Your team is valuable to be accountable for, but don’t believe you are the cleverest in your house.
In poker’s day of borderline players usually used a sticker to show who would handle the cards. The buck was moved on to someone else. This responsibility. The expression “the buck stops here” is, thanks to President Harry Truman, implying an excuse-free responsibility for the things involved.
I’ve been that. As head of public corporations ‘ communications, I felt totally responsible for everything that could be produced, from the acceptance of press releases to advertising and marketing campaigns. There was no end to the list. Every day a number of people queued endlessly at my door for an initiative or to sign up for a final election campaign. Some people could have regarded it as creating an unwanted bottleneck, but I felt I was defending the prestige of the team from above.
I discovered in time that my style of leadership causes frustration. I sent the signal, unintentionally, that I didn’t trust anyone else to do things correctly.
The trick, as a business owner, is not to go overboard and assume that you are the smartest person in the room. Once you have crossed this line, you are on a journey that will kill creativity and jeopardize your leadership. Not only are you taking decisions every day, but you are also also adding in many other things unnecessarily.
Here are five effective strategies to stop and lead your squad.
Humility to follow.
You are not the smartest person in the room, as difficult as it may be to admit. Stop trying to be, therefore. Using insecurity and throw your ego away.
I headed a division in Chicago in 2004 that was well emerging from the recession but there were problems within the office. Maybe I didn’t see it, but I was a micromanager classical. One day, Paul went into my office and, flawlessly delivered, lowered the boom:’ Everybody here hates you, and when something doesn’t change, all of us will leave.’ I learned to understand the seriousness of my actions, and Paul tried to understand all the stresses I faced. Both of us screamed. Everything gradually progressed, but I had to push my high horse down to listen and then make a real difference.
Invite a trustworthy friend to track how you handle the meetings and communicate with others. Can a reasonable person say that you should be treated in the room as the intelligent person? Be ready to hear your suggestions and dedicate yourselves to improvement.
State your goal
Failure to make things, people. They are likely to be suspicious if your team isn’t clear on your intentions. Take the time to make sure everybody knows why you are at the stage you are interested. You will better appreciate your position and participation if they believe you have “air cover.”
Empowerment level for touch.
Keep clear with your staff as to whether they can go ahead and cooperate without your involvement. You may not want all decisions to be made long-term, but you may need to accept more things than you want, if it is needed by the demands of the particular project or until the skills and experience are acquired that progress independently of you.
Recruit the brightest and prepare them.
Recruit and cultivate people who are substantially talented. Recognize that your job is to build trust and talent in your business, so that other leaders take notice of them. In addition, refuse to keep your recruits hostage in a certain area—to pollinate their abilities in all areas of the company. If you are able to reverse your goal and explore other aspects of your business where you have contributed great talent.
Note, as a group, we’re smarter than anybody. And that means that no one, including you and me, is always the cleverest person in the room.