"The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, 'The children are now working as if I didn't exist'. ~Maria Montessori
The same is true for Leaders. Every leader, be it a business owner, team leader, home maker- would love to say ‘My people are now working as if I didn’t exist.’
This statement has a lot of depth. It means that people are responsible, accountable and take ownership of their work. It’s a dream of every leader because that shows how well you lead and how well people around you have developed their skills.
It does not cost a fortune to have your people be responsible and accountable, to be successful and move ahead. Here are powerful yet practical steps to achieve this.
Stretch - Most of us as leaders love to give advice as soon as we are asked by our people. We know it all- how can we not give our precious gems of advice. This is the step most leaders go wrong. Never ever give immediate solution or advice to your people. Stretch their thoughts, ask them their opinion, brainstorm and see what they have in their mind. Giving them solution is only going to rust their mind.
Empower- It does not matter who are the people around you. Things do not work for you unless you do the right things. Existence is non- judgmental. You are a good person, so even if you don’t take care of your health, will it improve? You are a bad person, if you take care of your health, won’t it improve? Empower every person around you according to their capabilities and skills and watch them grow. Don’t empower people based purely on your judgement. Empower based on their capabilities.
Let go- As leaders we love to stick close to our people. We want to make sure we are involved in their decision making, we are asked for advice. We feel we are guiding and mentoring them and don’t realize we got into Helicopter leadership. We are away from the ground but still hovering around. Let go of your team. When it comes to tough decisions, many leaders cling to the frame of mind that "I need to take care of this myself." But if you trust the people who you hired to do their jobs with full autonomy, you may be surprised by how well it works out. Letting go is nothing more than empowering teams and people to make their own decisions.
Failures For leaders who see everything as a stepping stone for a larger possibility, there is no failure. They allow their people to try new things, to fail and to grow together. In reality fear of failure have made leaders of today immobilized. The feeling of insecurity, competition, protection does not let us allow ourselves and our people to fail and rise. Let your people fail, let them spring up and go ahead again.
Put it all together and you have a powerful tool as a leader-SELF. Everything starts with ME- We are 100% responsible for our own lives. You may not like the idea at first, but the truth is that we are the creators of our own situation, good or bad. Accepting means that you cannot blame others for your failures anymore. And naturally that can be pretty scary.
Work on the SELF and see the change in the people around you.