During the past 9 weeks we've explored as many ideas on steps toward mighty management. It comes from a compilation of my experiences, and those of my Dad, each having served in a leadership capacity during our careers. You can start here from the beginning and read through.
As we bring this series to a close, I can't help but park on one final topic that is more reflective about how we approach situations within our teams.
Thought #10: Last up in our list of 10 Ways to Mighty Management is this - ask yourself 5 quick questions before getting involved in a project that your team is working on:
Will it succeed without my input?
Might my participation remove someone’s opportunity for growth?
Would I slow down or jam up the process by jumping in?
Might I be communicating lack of trust or lack of confidence?
Can my time be better used to accomplish other things?
If the answers are “yes” to any of these questions, it’s likely a good moment to hold back and encourage and help others around you to grow. A very wise colleague has challenged me repeatedly to consider this thought;
“If I say yes to this, it means I’m saying no to something else.”
That’s often the thought that drives me to “stay in my lane” while letting others find their own measure of success in ways that they may never have imagined.
When we have a high sense of integrity and want things to be done right every time, this can be extremely challenging, because typically someone else won’t do a job exactly the way that we would, and may even not do it as well. However, if there’s any way to get stuck in a job, reduce our chances for finding new opportunities, and diminish the confidence of our team, taking on every task ourselves is it. It may be true that we could do it better and faster if we just take the bull by the horns and get the job done, but we are apt to leave a wake of damage in our path.
As we evaluate our responsibilities as team leaders and managers, we must keep in mind that a primary role should always be the development of our team. That means we look for ways to create challenges and opportunities that will help them advance and showcase their skills. So before jumping in, be sure to self-check and consider what else you’re saying no to if you say yes to this.
TAKE ACTION: Print out the list of 5 questions and challenge yourself to review them when you’re ready to jump into the next project. When you find something that needs your “no,” find a team member and explain to them your thinking, let them know you believe that they can be just as successful in the task, then let it go. Bear in mind that you may have to practice idea number 9 (when one fails, we all fail; when one succeeds, we all succeed) and help the team to learn along the way. But in the end, it will pay off.
Kirsten Smith, founder of Made to Thrive Consulting has over 20 years Business Development and Management experience with small and large organizations alike, including those listed among the Fortune 500.
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