Leaders Don’t Have All The Answers
One of the most liberating insights leaders can ever arrive at is encapsulated in the admission, “I don’t know.”
To accept this premise, they must let go of the need to be “the smartest people in the room.”
For many leaders, this is difficult if not impossible. They grew up with the belief that leaders must have all the answers – that’s how they gain the admiration, respect and loyalty of their team members.
The opposite is true.
Our teams gain greater respect and admiration for us, and become more loyal to us, when we admit to them that we do not possess all the answers and that we are looking to them for answers. That’s when they truly buy in!
Admitting we don’t have all the answers does three things:
-makes us human,
-shows our vulnerability, and
-allows us to reach out to teammates who have more knowledge or skills on certain issues than we do.
In taking this step, we not only reveal our own limitations, we also encourage our teammates to shine, in front of us and their colleagues.
Through this process, we show our teams that we are searching for solutions, not problems. We teach our people that a critical role of leaders is not to come up with all the right answers, but to ask the right questions.
Once we give ourselves permission to not possess all the answers, effective delegation can take place.
The best leaders know that delegation is the magic tool that can produce amazing results, exponential growth in our people and an aligned workplace.