How to Be a ‘Get Out of the Way’ Leader

Been thinking about this recently and how difficult I find this. I don’t think I’m alone either in finding this essential aspect of leadership such a challenge. Empowering others is the only way to bring about all that we want to see but that doesn’t make it easy though.

Here are some quick thoughts ~ why we don’t ‘get out of the way’, then why and how we should…

WHY WE DON’T…

We like control. We like to be in charge, to know what’s going on.
We don’t trust others. No one can do it like we do it.
There isn’t anyone to ‘get out of the way’ for. Or at least that’s what we convince ourselves.
We are scared of change. They will do it differently to how we have done it.
We will have nothing to do. We could become outdated, unwanted, or redundant.
What if they get it wrong. It’s just not worth the risk.

What if they get it right. What we were doing might come in to question.

WHY WE SHOULD…

We wont achieve the vision. The bigger the vision the more we need others to help us. One person can only do so much.
We stifle growth. Other peoples, maybe even our own and definitely the organisations.
Be willing to challenge the process. Just because its always been done ‘that way’ doesn’t mean it should continue to be. Sometimes we need that ‘upstart’ to say ‘Why not?’
New people can bring fresh energy. This is in turn can bring life to the organisation.

They may leave if we don’t. If people cannot see that they will ever be included, then they will probably go to a place where they will be.

HOW WE SHOULD DO IT…

On purpose not haphazardly. Have a plan on how responsibility will be given. Create a programme with a clear pathway, so those who are getting involved know what to expect.
Through coaching and not just through teaching. You can’t really ‘have a go’ without being given the opportunity to ‘have a go’. Hands on experience alongside some teaching can work really well. John Maxwell would teach us ~ know the way, go the way, show the way.
Let go. The first time is the hardest but if you have invested in them well then it’s not the challenge you really fear.
Be an inspiring leader. Spend your leadership being the kind of leader that others would want to be like. Inspire with vision, with attitude, with integrity, with your work ethic, with communication, with encouragement and every facet of your leadership.

Resource them. Just keep passing on everything you know, everything you have learned. Talk all the time about the why behind what you have asked them to do.

It’s a challenge but the rewards mean all that we are building can outlast us. If we make it all about us then what we are doing may well die when we do. If we make it about others then what we are building can last for generations to come.

What would you add to this?

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