Monday, June 27, 2016

Don’t Lead (At least not in these 3 situations)

Why you should love good leadership more than leading.

The biggest leadership problem that I see, or at least the problem I see most often, is lack of clarity. When people are confused, it’s unfair and it drives me crazy. People deserve better. But, if it’s not my rodeo, I’ll sit in the stands and cheer from the sidelines (and learn what not to do).

The biggest leadership problem that I see most often, is lack of clarity. CLICK TO TWEET

Here are three times that I’ve learned not to lead:

1. When another person is better suited to lead. Sometimes this is a hard call to make because your ego overshadows your wisdom.

I’ve made this mistake when I had a title (director or president) so I exercised my “right” to lead. But that doesn’t mean I was the most qualified! Humility is quality that is seen not only in the words we use, but also in our actions. We should always acquiesce our rights for the good of those we are leading. Younger leaders struggle with this. In these challenging situations it’s best to say, “Even though I’m in charge, I have great respect for Steve’s leadership in this area, so I’ve asked him to guide us through this part of the initiative.”

2. When you have mentored someone else and they are ready. Yes, they will be scared to death (just like you were at one time).

But when it’s their time, encourage them to step forward! If you are not mentoring someone right now, why not? Find someone to support and encourage, then watch the person shine.

3. When you are too busy. We’ve all heard the (wise) adage: If you want to get something done, find a busy person to do it. Why? Because the person delivers—that’s why (s)he stays so busy!

But what happens when that person is you? When your plate is full, is it best to add one more item? The ego shouts, “They recognize your ability; you need to do this!”

People who are focused have learned to say “no.” We have great respect for focused people who have the energy and creativity to do continually good work. “But if I say no, I might not be asked in the future.” Trust me, you’ll be asked. Prioritization is a learned leadership behavior.

Prioritization is a learned leadership behavior. CLICK TO TWEET

Empower, empower, empower. Don’t get me wrong, I love to lead, but that’s not as fun as investing in another then seeing the person “come alive” as a growing leader. Become the biggest cheerleader for those who are learning to spread their leadership wings.

Bottom Line: It’s great to provide solid leadership or follow someone who is. I HATE it when I’m asked to follow poor leadership. That just sucks, but it motivates me to keep growing! Thank you for committing to leadership growth by being a member of the LeaderTribe!

What are other times when we should not lead? Leave a comment below.


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