I once worked for a senior executive that made a point of reminding our team that if the success of our business was entirely dependent on his brain alone, we were in trouble. He regularly used the three most unused words in leadership, “I don’t know.”
The year was 1628, and the Swedish Warship Vasa was to make her maiden voyage to join the other Swedish warships in the Thirty Years’ War. An incredible 64-gun warship, the Vasa was larger than just about anything else found on the waters of Scandinavia in the seventeenth century.
You don’t have to be a golf fan to appreciate the leadership lessons demonstrated by Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker at the 2021 Ryder Cup golf championship. A few weeks ago, I wrote an article asking if you are FOR the people on your team or wanted something FROM the people on your team.
Almost everyone I speak with tells me of the success they have had in these trying times. Business is up, and sales are brisk, money is coming in. By all indications, we are very successful. As many look to the future, they are asking, “what’s next?” Is success enough? What if you could move past success and do something significant?
There are many reasons that leaders don’t want people on their teams making decisions, and most of those reasons center around the feeling of losing control if you share control. I think it is important to remember that you, the leader, are ultimately accountable for the decisions made on your team.
As a leader, you set the standard of performance for your team. People are watching you all the time, and it is not easy to expect more from the people on your team or in your family than you expect from yourself.
The facilitator asked the class, what is it you want from the people on your team? As I considered his question and began to write, the facilitator interrupted my thought process by asking a question that would forever change my leadership mindset; “Don’t you want things FOR your team, not FROM your team?”