Kara Redoutey, MBA, CFRE
What are the leadership barriers to doing this?
When we become leaders for the first time, we are typically inclined to do what we have always done, but leadership requires a different approach from us. As an employee, we take on projects, we charge through tasks, and ultimately, we do our best to complete tasks in a timely manner. We often receive feedback on our work for a job well done and we enjoy the praise we receive. The truth is that most leaders are recovering control freaks. When you are only responsible for your own work, this is a great approach. It can really become a problem when we try to control everything as leaders. Leaders can influence, but cannot control.
What is the case for doing it anyway?
If you attempt to control others to get things done, you will fail. At some point, on no particular timeline, failure will be a part of your future. It’s much easier to influence than it is to control. You will lessen the amount of time spent, thought, and worrying on projects. You will get more done and your team will be more successful. You will learn more from your team and grow as a leader by opting to use influence to guide progress, rather than fail at your attempts to control.
How can you do it?
Stop blaming others and focus what you can do to be your best. Your job as a new leader is to be the best you can be so you can help your team be the best they can be.
Focus on fielding the best team and not on trying to be the team star. The better your team is, the bigger the reward for you as a leader. Your team’s success is the reward now. You have the opportunity to work in conjunction with others to help them fulfill goals and build a stronger workplace and culture.
Focus on influencing others rather than controlling others. Give them advice, feedback, and assistance when they need it, but allow them some independence. You will build a strong team by influencing them and trusting them than by trying to control every move they make.
Learn to place trust in your team. You need your team’s help now. You can’t do everything. You must delegate to be successful. Get to know your team, their strengths, and long term goals. You will be able to utilize each team member effectively and build your trust in them to see a project through from beginning to end successfully.