Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Right Answer, Wrong Approach

As a tenured leader in your organization, it comes as no surprise that you have all the right answers.  And if you were promoted into management from within, chances are you're known for your ability to solve problems for your team.  They bring you the issue, you tell them how to fix it, all is right with the world.


Your team isn't developing.

Think of the child who needs his shoe laces tied.  When he's a toddler, an adult does if for him.  But at some point before he starts school, they begins to encourage him to try it himself, coaching him on different approaches, until one magical day, it all comes together and he's doing it "All by myself!".

If your employees line up at your door each day with the latest challenges, it's probably because that's what you've taught them to do.  Because it's the fastest way to solution.  Because you have the experience and they don't.  Because that way you stay informed of what problems they're facing.  Because they need you.

We all need leaders, coaches and mentors.  But if your approach to leadership is telling and solving, your organization is missing out on all that your team has to offer.

Try the coach approach.  Ask for their ideas, talk about the possible results, allow them to try, keep an open mind, and eventually you can shift the responsibility of problem solving to your employees.

Be known as the leader whose whole team has the right answers, because their leader uses the right approach.

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