I hate making decisions – what if I get it wrong?
I remember a poster which read: “Either Lead or Follow—But Get Out of the Way!”
When our role calls for the former, here are 4 important things to keep in mind:
- Great leaders communicate
Realising that good communication is a 2-way street, you must be responsible for your part. That being said, true communication is the response that you get. Whatever form you choose (verbal, mail, e-mail, etc), if you don’t get the outcome you seek (from a “willing” recipient), the responsibility lies with you, the sender. Great leaders confirm, gain commitment, and solicit feedback to improve the process.
- Great leaders make decisions
Far too often, those in positions of authority delay choosing a course because they have to keep gathering more information. We call this: the paralysis of analysis. If you’re the Leader, rest assured that the followers are well aware of this handicap. If you are received as indecisive, this severely hampers your ability to lead the Team. How many opportunities have slipped away because you took to long to make a move? One more thing: great leaders admit when they make a mistake, take corrective action, and move on. This will do wonders to build respect from Team members.
- Great leaders delegate
Once the decision has been made, it’s time to share the workload. Great leaders don’t try to do everything themselves, realizing that dividing the work multiplies the results. This also demonstrates trust in the Team and fosters individual growth. When the communication works (see #1 above), distributing responsibility contributes to great results. As a side note, a great leader shares the credit with those responsible when those great results come in.
- Great leaders hold others accountable
Leaders do what they say they will do and expect the same from others. One of my mentors used to say: “You expect what you inspect.” Great leaders follow up and follow through. Those who study the human condition have found that “behaviour that is recognised is behaviour that gets repeated”. The Team knows what the Leader, historically, has paid attention to and what has been “overlooked”. As the leader, change your behaviour and you will change your results.
Be the change you want to see as you are the forefront of your team. Empower them to bring their greatest skills out the results will follow.
Till next time be well,