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Will you let good ideas bubble up?

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

See whether you can relax enough to let your team innovate. Here’s a business consultant’s list of questions titled “Confessions of a Control Freak.”Ask yourself how self-assured you actually are:
  • What if I lose control? You can remain in charge while trusting that your employees are better versed in day-to-day operations than you are. Set high expectations, guide your team and stand clear.

  • What if I’m wrong? Everybody hates being wrong, but it happens. Try starting with the assumption that you don’t know all the answers.

  • What if they take advantage of their freedom? This happens, too, but it’s rare. Inexperienced leaders often don’t know how to handle new responsibilities. It’s your job to gauge their readiness and give them all the freedom they can handle. Err on the side of too much.

  • What if I look incompetent or indecisive? Relax. People generally don’t judge you harshly unless you judge others that way. Don’t try to compensate by making every decision. That will only turn you into a micromanager.

  • What if somebody has a better idea? Thank your lucky stars you’ve got a talented person on board. Anyway, your job isn’t to know everything. Your job is to direct your brilliant team.

  • What if I give up control and a terrible idea fails? If you want your people to try new things, take risks and grow, you can’t keep them from failing. While your impulse may be to rush in and rescue them, that would only hinder the learning process.
Lesson: Amazingly enough, leadership is not all about you. You and your people can celebrate successes and bemoan setbacks together, having faith that in the long run, you’ll all come out stronger.

—Adapted from Leadership Divided: What Emerging Leaders Need and What You Might Be Missing, Ron Carucci, Jossey-Bass.

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