09 Mar Be a Leader, Not an Egomaniac
The lessons I’ve learned as a leader are partly the result of formal training and partly the result of leading hundreds of people for the past thirty years. But mostly, it is the failures I’ve experienced through all those years that have shaped any leadership skills I have. Leaders take advantage of their resources — their people. Leaders hand the ball off to their people and let them run with it. Here are three simple rules I‘ve learned to let my people blossom.
Be a Leader, Not a Micromanager
Micromanaging your people’s work insults their intelligence and takes you away from your own responsibilities. Do you trust your people? If not, find other people. Micromanaging betrays trust, builds pressure, and breeds resentment. Once the opportunity arises for your team members to move on to an environment that allows them to be the smart, educated people they are, they will be gone.
You’re not building a team of loyal, stress-free badasses together — they are becoming badasses on their own and will move on if you don’t put your focus on what you should be doing, and let the brilliant team you have do their thing.
Provide resources, education, and on open door — not constant negative feedback, scare tactics, or passive-aggressive public shaming.
Be a Leader, Not an Egomaniac About Your Accomplishments
Truly great leaders aren’t egomaniacs. They don’t brag on themselves or their accomplishments. They let their actions speak for themselves. Bragging about yourself lands on your team — and your clients — as insecurity, because that’s what it is.
Allow your work and that of your team to speak for itself. Nothing is gained by gloating about your accomplishments or making sure people know you’re the boss when your business is successful. People will notice these things.
Great leaders provide the space and the tools for others to shine on their own, without being handled.
Lead Your People Out of the Wilderness
Perhaps most importantly, cut your people some slack when their lives get messy and they don’t show up with their A game. Instead of saying, “Until you do A, B, and C you’re in time out,” try sending them flowers or a card. Sit down with them over a coffee and ask supportive questions, such as, “How can I support you and help you get back on your game?” Don’t wait until you’re convinced they suck or quit caring. As a leader, this is one of your best opportunities to lead.
This alone will be a game changer for your business. Your people will walk through fire for you. If you lead with threats, they will lose any sense of loyalty to you or your business. They will feel pressured and, when a new opportunity comes along, they will leave and you will lose another incredible team member who could have helped you build your dream.
You might think that if this is how they feel, then so be it. But is that really how you want to lead? If so, consider what is lacking in your own personal growth. Do you need your team to feel nervous in your presence? Do you feel the need to toot your own horn? These are serious questions you should answer about yourself if you’re in a leadership role.
Let your ego go, stop micromanaging, and start leading.