Let's face it. Being THE MAN is not as fun as it sounds. Like Clark Kent, i would rip my dress shirt, show my BIG "S" and fly to "every kitty stuck in a tree or damsal in distress singing, "hear i come to save the day!" The issue is when you are the answer man, EVERYBODY COMES RUNNING TO YOU WITH ALL OF THEIR QUESTIONS!!!
I have found a secret in a "delegating" style of leadership that no professor or mentor in my life has shared with me, to this point. I merely stumbled upon it, but have found it to be incredibly effective at developing leadership beneath me. Now i have to warn you up front. This secret REQUIRES balance in your own life. You can "over-use" this method and become a self-serving jerk that soon finds his leadership obselete because noone thinks you care. If you are a good leader you are constantly looking for the guys/gals you are developing to take initiative and just make a decision. We can fix wrong decisions. What urks me, in leadership, is when he/she makes NO DECISION!Why would ANY leader call you a, or need you as a, leader if you don't have the ----- to make a call.
This secret will be a paradigm shift for alot my readers, who love the "superhero" status because it will force you back into plain clothes more than tights and capes. It will also be a shift for my guys how live to make sure EVERY "i" is dotted and EVERY "t" is crossed. Why? There is a powerful transformation that takes place when you let those you lead freakout, instigate a decision, or even fail by lying crippled like the lame man at the pool for someone to help him in his handicapped state, unable to make a decision, thus compromising the issue all together.
okay, okay. Enough introducing the concept, let me give it to you.
I have found that most leaders under someone elses leadership go through 3 phases in dealing with an issue/decision/conflict directly in front of them.
Phase 1 - FREAKOUT! - Most developing leaders are so drawn "to the butt" that nothing you do seems to have any flaws or discripancies. In their eyes, everything you do is "magically delicious!" (- Lucky Charms, i love them!!)So they do not take the time to watch and learn how you navaigate through unforseen issues. They have not taken the time to watch you pause and put this issue through all of your integrity filters before you react. Just by the sheer fact you placed them in charge, FREAKOUT is a part, everytime. BTW, FREAKOUT is a good thing because it shows you they genuinely care about the success of what they are leading. If they are apathetic, then you have bigger issues. This FREAKOUT sends them immediately to Phase 2.
Phase 2 - Call Me(you) - If you pick up the 1st time they call , you are in charge! If you are in charge, then why do you need to develop the person who is calling. All they are is a "worker bee" for you. You, my friend, delegate duties, not leadership. The problem with that is everything dies when you die. When it is their time to lead and they are in the heat of battle, don't pick up. Otherwise, you are the mom with the 9 year old still breastfeeding him! It's weird and nobody wants to be around that! If you will hang on, your silence will take them to Phase 3.
Phase 3 - They work to resolve the issue or make the decision. - THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT IF YOU ARE DELEGATING LEADERSHIP, and not just a delegator of duties!! Then they will come back to you for approval or a beating for the decision they made. Be careful if they made the wrong decision. How you handle this will determine, if they will ever do it again. This is your moment to teach them YOUR filters for good decision-making. Also, you MUST cover for their bad decision!! A good coach gives his kids ALL the credit when they win, and he takes ALL the heat when they lose! In contrast, if they make the RIGHT decision, celebrate them and let them have all the credit. The better they look, the better your leadership looks!!
Now let me finish this "don't abuse this leadership secret" thing. When it comes to leadership, don't answer in the heat. If they are going through something personally, or they are operating in delegated duties, that's when you have to be close by. Be sure after the delegated leadership issue is completely over, you communicate to him/her why you did not answer when they called. Don't make excuses or lie, just simply let them know you TRUSTED him/her to make a call, even if it was the wrong one.
Trust me. After years of developing leaders though delegated leadership, they thank you for it later!!
hope i helped,
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