One of the leadership lessons I’ve been learning recently is that knowing less can be a good thing. I think we often assume that capable leaders know everything. It’s simply not true. As I’ve grown with the organization I serve, I know less. It’s fair to say the higher you move within your organization (team, group, etc.) the less you know about every detail because your focus shifts from tactics (how) to strategy (what). There are other people who can build better systems. There are other people who can provide financial solutions. There are other people who can give technical answers. There are certain areas where I don’t have much skill, and so it becomes counterproductive for me to give my time to those areas. It’s not going to help. I must continually focus on where the organization is going, and how we get there while allowing other gifted individuals to shape and perfect that focus. I read recently that leadership is not about me. I believe that…but that can be a difficult thing to live because it’s easy to feel threatened and territorial. Those are feelings that I must abandon in order to move forward.
In order to “know less,” here are behaviors I’m learning to embrace:
+ Find fantastic people. Trust them. Free them. Let them decide.
+ Deepen your own well. I must continue to learn and grow personally so that I can empty myself and give away what I’m learning.
+ Find a balance between casting vision and letting the vision breathe and grow. It is possible as a leader to present too many “big ideas” without letting the last “big idea” become part of the fabric of the organization. Cast vision and then let it grow!