Is your “leadership” so big that when you enter a room there is no space left for the other leaders in your organization? It’s a question that successful leaders should ask themselves frequently.
If your leadership is “filling” the room then there is no room for other egos, thoughts, suggestions, ideas, or leadership. Your leadership could actually be stifling the growth of your organization by leaving little room for other leaders to grow.
I’ve seen meeting rooms change when “THE leader” walks in. The atmosphere changes from one of healthy debate and discussion to one of quiet hesitation. Either everyone respects THE leader so much that they don’t want to offer a differing opinion or perhaps they just become filled with fear and doubt. If you’re a leader and no one in your meetings disagrees with you then you should know it’s one or the other. You should also know that neither one is good for your organization.
If your leadership objective is to grow an organization AND the next generation of leaders who will lead it, then you need to put your leadership on a diet to make room for those future leaders to grow.
Stop leading from the front so there’s room for someone else up there. I’d never suggest that a leader stop leading but try leading from the middle or even the rear. The rear is a great place to lead from because oftentimes it’s much easier to push people past their limits than it is to pull them.
If you’re talking your not listening and if you’re not listening you’re not learning.
Authentic servant leadership listens far more than it talks. Let your people try out their voice – make it a point to ask for dissenting ideas and DON’T be defensive when you get them.
Authentic Servant Leaders encourage constructive discontent.
Lead your people to encourage the airing of differing opinions and then manage the process to keep it positive. As a leader you should know that if all your people are thinking just like you then a good many of your people just aren’t thinking.
Authentic Servant Leaders have egos.
They also know that everyone else has an ego too and that forgetting that fact leads to all sorts of trouble. If it’s your ego that is getting in the way of listening to other opinions then you may need to put your leadership ego on a diet and leave some ego food for the future leaders in your organization.
You need more than just your own ideas to help your organization reach it’s full potential. Make room for lot’s of ideas and differing viewpoints and reward people for sharing them.
If you’re a leader with the confidence to “shrink” your leadership when circumstances require it then you’re a leader who truly leads.
Are you ready to diet?
6 thoughts on “The Leadership Diet”
Great article – thought provoking and spot on! Good leaders sit and listen as well as lead. They praise and encourage and stand back and give people space.
Being lean is good.
Thanks Amanda, I appreciate your comment. “Lean Leadership” would have been a great title 🙂
The greatest leaders are humble. They understand they don’t have all the answers. They reach out to consitutents and others for innovative ways to improve. Many in leadership positions believe this is a weakness. How’s that quote go? Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.
Great quote Steve, it’s only the truly weak leaders who believe accepting advice is a weakness.
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Thanks for your kind words.