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Times When Leaders Let Others Lead
ntelligent leaders know sometimes they must give up control and let others lead. On one hand, relinquishing control lets employees hone their skills from a unique leadership position. On the other, by giving up control, leaders empower employees and encourage them to take on more responsibilities and grow personally and professionally.
Intelligent leadership is people-centric leadership. Effective leaders inspire and empower employees and hand them responsibilities. Employees lucky enough to have intelligent leaders at the helm of their organizations enjoy environments that encourage psychological ownership and risk-taking.
Good leaders understand leadership is not about having control over others. Effective leadership empowers others, helps employees succeed in their careers, and coaches high-potential reports to take over leadership roles.
Good leadership resembles coaching.
Leadership coaching encourages leaders to learn to delegate. As a business coaching professional, I consider delegation a fundamental leadership skill. When you hand over responsibility for a project or client to your employees, you don’t show weakness or lack of interest. Instead, you allow employees to lead as the ultimate gesture of empowerment.
Leading by Example
Walking the proverbial walk is a recurring theme in my leadership development books and posts. Great leaders actively model behaviors they want to see from employees. They want employees to adopt the same leadership attitudes that have helped them succeed. Leaders want employees to become leaders as well, even if they won’t get the chance to lead large or small organizations. Helping people assume leadership of their lives is a goal worthy of a true leader.
Giving Teams More Responsibility
Only lazy employees see any advantage in being micromanaged. Those who understand the value of their work and how it helps their organization succeed do not shy away from responsibilities.
Your team should be able to handle day-to-day things without seeking approval for every decision. When employees lead themselves, they gain boosts in confidence, their problem-solving abilities, and skills.
The key to effective delegation is accountability. When you give employees more responsibilities and the power to make decisions, ensure they understand how accountability factors into the situation.
Letting Your Team Grow
Every coach knows that sometimes the best action is to step back and let nature take its course. Once primed for success and eager to get going, your team is set to succeed on its own. From that point on, your role as the leader is to offer macro guidance and step in if something goes wrong.
Helping your employees achieve personal goals is also an undertaking worthy of an intelligent leader.
Sometimes, you must let go to allow growth to happen.
When you give your team space to grow, you allow team members to focus on their personal growth even as they work together and cooperate. A culture of coaching is a force multiplier in a team. When team members actively help each other succeed, your team becomes an incubator for leadership talent.
Intelligent leaders recognize the strength of their team members and encourage them to put those strengths to use at every opportunity.
Good leaders spare no effort to learn about their employees’ interests, abilities, and talents. By knowing someone well, a leader can avoid underestimating that person and show due respect.
Employees who feel respected are more likely to step forth and assume additional responsibilities.
Leaders drop the reins of leadership when they delegate effectively. In addition to giving an employee the chance to act as a leader in a limited role, delegation gives the leader the opportunity to get used to relinquishing control.
By failing to delegate, leaders miss the opportunity to help employees lead and train themselves to give up control.
Intelligent leaders aren’t shy to admit they don’t know everything. They aren’t reluctant to transfer leadership to someone with greater expertise in a subject matter if they deem it the optimal course.
The people to whom leaders may hand over the reins can be other leaders from an organization or a team member.
Giving up leadership can be difficult, but that is what leaders must sometimes do. Executive coaching can help leaders grow comfortable with giving up control now and then for the benefit of their teams and organizations.