“Leadership is not always about getting things done “right.” Leadership is about getting things done through other people…When a leader can’t find someone to hand things off to, it is
time for him to look in the mirror. We must never forget that the people who follow us are exactly where we have led them.” Andy Stanley
There is a lot of pressure on leaders to "get things done," maybe now more than ever. Reports of mass layoffs across several industries point to the need for constant pivots and innovation. We are still experiencing the economic implications brought on by the COVID19 pandemic. Organizational culture can seem to be in flux as we figure out the best way to work together, even when we're not. With these challenges leaders must be intentional about involving their teams as early as possible rather than attempt to demonstrate that "YOU (leader) can handle every crisis alone."
While it might seem easier to identify a solution, implement it and move on to the next crisis, how might that action affect your team?
· They may feel disengaged, undervalued, and demotivated.
· Their ability to contribute creative solutions and innovative ideas is hampered.
· Collaboration among them may suffer as team members feel excluded or uninformed.
· Teams not actively involved in decision-making may resist changes imposed by the leader.
I could say more, but I think you get the point. As a leader if we don't get things done through other people, we're not leading. We're just doing. When we are in "doing mode" we don't always see the efficiency in slowing down and involving your team in the crisis strategy. Your point of view is limited to what you bring to the table. What might your team bring to the table?
1. Diverse Skills and Expertise: Teams often consist of individuals with diverse skills, knowledge, and expertise. Relying on your team members allows you to leverage a wide range of talents to tackle complex challenges that may require different perspectives.
2. Collaboration and Creativity: Teamwork fosters collaboration and creativity. When leaders work with their teams, they can benefit from collective brainstorming and innovative solutions that are not possible when working alone.
3. Increased Productivity: Delegating tasks to team members allow leaders to focus on their core responsibilities, thereby increasing overall productivity. Team members can handle specific aspects of a project, leading to more efficient and effective outcomes.
4. Adaptability and Resilience: Teams are better equipped to adapt to changes and overcome obstacles. The combined skills and experiences of team members enable the group to be more resilient in the face of challenges.
You know all this, but in the fray we might forget. I want to remind you to (a) take a breath, (b) turn off the inner alarms that say you must get it all done alone and NOW, and (c) stretch your trust and your team. If you need a partner in this process, we would welcome the chance to help.
You got this. Happy 2024.
Michele Aikens is lead coach at Clear Sight Coaching & Consulting, Inc. You can reach her here.