Last week I challenged you with an article about what the perceived power of a promotion to a leadership role can do to one’s ego and behavior. This week I would like to offer some tips that will keep us honest as leaders and turn us into facilitating leaders.
Peter Drucker said of managers: Our mission is to make a positive difference, not to prove how smart we are.
When interacting with the people you have employed to be the experts on every level of your operation, here is some advice from Alan Mulally, former CEO of Ford and Boeing about facilitating greatness in others:
- Check your own ego at the door
- Actively involve others – they are the experts you hired
- Be wary of offering your suggestions – others will agree with you because of your seniority and you might not have all the correct answers, see bullet point 2
- Recognize that knowledge is power, so give the people with the expertise the power to work on the solutions you need to achieve
- Be relentless in achieving transparency – your leaders need to feel safe to bring the problems to you – applaud them for doing so and elicit participation from all the experts on your team to come up with a solution
You employed experts to help your company succeed at every level. Your role is to facilitate the application of their knowledge and then to get out of their way. I can help.