As I’ve written almost endlessly not everyone who occupies a position of leadership are actually leading. They are leaders in name, title, or position only.
One of the characteristics of these types of leaders is they tend to be “fixers.” Instead of giving their people a chance to learn they ‘jump in” and solve every problem for them. While the “leader” may feel better about themselves it does nothing to grow their people. While the “leader” may think they are helping their people they are more than likely demoralizing them.
Some people will welcome their “leader” doing the heavy lifting for them. So much so they they begin to count on it. When that happens the “leader” becomes an enabler for lack of effort and initiative. The potential for growth is stopped in its tracks.
Authentic Leaders allow their people to figure things out for themselves. They not only give them the opportunity to learn, they encourage, even insist, that they take advantage of that opportunity.
The potential for growth is unlimited. Authentic Leaders grow more leaders. Innovation thrives. The culture is collaborative and there are few consequences for mistakes when lessons are taken from them.
It takes discipline for an Authentic Leader to let their people make mistakes and learn from them. It takes patience to allow their people the time required to figure things out that the leader already knows.
Authentic Leaders see helping their people learn and grow as an investment. Leaders in name only see those same things as an expense with no ROI.
So what about you? Are you a fixer? Understand that being a fixer who doesn’t trust their people to figure things out on their own and a well intentioned fixer who thinks they are doing their people a service by solving their problems create the same outcomes.
Don’t limit your people. Don’t prevent them from growing. Let them figure things out on their own. Even if it takes longer than if you just did it for them. Letting your people learn is not an expense, it quite possibly may be the best investment you’ll ever make.
3 thoughts on “Leadership Fixers”
This reminds me of the HBR classic “Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey?”
by William Oncken, Jr. and Donald L. Wass.
My goal is to create leadership producers, not leadership consumers.
Absolutely, Authentic Leaders build more leaders, not more followers!