What kind of leader are you?
- The Controller who can’t trust to delegate?
- The Rule maker deciding everything on your own?
- The “Re-inventor” constantly reinventing the wheel without listening to others’ input?
- The Observer and Mentor?
Or fill in the blank….
I’ve worked under a lot of leaders in varying positions. From CEO’s on down…
In my experience, the successful ones have always been those who took the time to observe and mentor.
Why? If you are the Controller, you can’t effectively lead if you are mired in the minutiae and refusing to delegate. How can you see how well your people perform, or how much can you notice how your customers are responding, and when do you have time to process the progress or lack of it if your head is down heading the charge off to handle every next crisis? And these crises most likely would not always be arising if you allowed management the autonomy and authority to handle situations before they became problems.
Nor can you grow your company with nothing but “yes men or women.” In my observations, the yes person is usually the one doing their best to stay under the radar so that no one will notice that they are actually the underperformers… Of course they will say yes! If they say no, that means more work is required to determine how to get to yes. So naturally, to say yes to everything is to maintain status quo. It also feeds the assumption that problems are actually being handled when in fact they aren’t. Your most valuable people are the ones who have the courage to say “no.” But with the “yes person” leader, those who say no will be let go or will slip away because they are resented for noticing what is going wrong…
The “re-inventor” is the one who usually thinks they are throwing out the old in favor of new, but then usually falls right back into the same old wheel – because oftentimes, in reality, the old wheel really has a stable hub and only some of the spokes need to be replaced and the rim sanded smooth. But, as usual with the “re-inventor,” a lot of extra work and money goes into creating a whole new wheel that looks pretty much like the old one.
I’ll stick with the observer and mentor who hires and recognizes those who know more than him/herself because that is the only way to grow – to surround yourself with talent! And to watch over your company like a parent watches over a child. Staying close enough to keep them out of danger, but far enough away to let them stumble and fall and get back up even stronger.
What experiences have you had with the various leaders in your work life?