Wednesday, June 3, 2009

empower followers: asg three

Obviously one of the most talked about leadership principles is that of delegation. There's no question that the more people there are working on something, the less that each individual has to contribute to a project. The problem, however, is that people with extreme amounts of leadership have a tendency to think that other people are not competent enough to perform the tasks that need to get done. It's so easy to feel like no one else even understands what you're trying to accomplish, and even if they did they probably couldn't execute it in the way we want them to... right?

Actually that is counter-productive for a couple of reasons. First of all, if you are being bogged down with routine details you're not free to make sure the entire vision as a whole (that YOU crafted by the way) is being executed properly. It's easy to become so loaded with details that the entire idea becomes stalled. Great great leaders know when to lose the battle to win the war. Sometimes letting go of details is essential.

Second of all, if you are a leader you should be able to sell your followers on your idea. If you do that effectively, then wouldn't it make sense for them to be excited enough that they want to contribute in their own way? If you want people to get on board with whatever you're doing, they have to have a voice once they're on board. Otherwise, you're going to destroy a whole lot of potentially positive energy.

If you want your vision to be a success, other people obviously have to want that as well. Sometimes that may mean the end result looks differently than you thought it would, but the vision is bigger than the shape of the result; the vision is the difference you wanted to make. Empower your followers.

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