Recently, I was looking through the book Hey Leader, Wake Up and Hear the Feedback! by Eric Harvey. Eric and his team surveyed hundreds of thousands of leaders and individual contributors around the world and selected 145 of the best responses to the following question:
“What specific behaviors define effective and respected leaders?”
Of all the responses listed, this was my favorite response: The one thing truly effective leaders do is give control! Managers take control – leaders give it.
I think there is a lot of wisdom to that response. To be an effective leader you have to allow those that you are leading to have control or you will never reach your full potential. You can guide them along the way, but if you spend all your time as a leader trying to control and micromanage those you lead, you will never allow those you lead to do the things that you are not capable of doing. This can be a very hard thing to do at first, but if you look at the benefits of letting go of the control, you will find that you were able to do things that you never even imagined possible at the start.
With this in mind I would like to give you a Top 10 list of guiding principles that will help you as a leader give control over to those you lead.
- Believe in your people.
- Let your people know you believe in them.
- Inspect what you expect.
- Practice situational leadership (change your style with each person and each task).
- Take an active role and invest in your people’s development.
- Let your people know their growth and development are important to you.
- Demonstrate the importance of their development by giving them opportunities for growth.
- Develop the competence and confidence of your people so they are motivated to act on their own.
- Take responsibility for making your people “winners.”
- Do not be a crutch for people but be a CATALYST for their growth and development.