There comes a time where you realize that you’re the only person in the room who has the answer. Or, perhaps you’ve been in that strange situation where you realize you’re the only one that sees what is really going on and are baffled why no one else is getting a clue.
I feel this way often – and I’ll admit that most of the time it’s not that I have a unique or unbelievable perspective or that I have somehow transcended the room’s collective intelligence , but rather the fact that I simply became aware of my differing viewpoint on the topic at hand.
The question is what I do with that knowledge – and that’s your challenge as well.
More often than not I don’t share those thoughts vocally – it’s for my own internal notation. In the areas of leadership this plays itself out often in the form of affirmation towards others, helping them fully appreciate their unique perspective and giving the the platform to stand a bit taller.
It’s also simply allowing them to contribute before you begin to contribute yourself. You see, sometimes the best thing that a leader can do is bring someone else’s idea into the limelight and highlight for others this individual’s own accomplishments or powerful contribution.
I have personally seen this done extremely well and I’ve also seen it done poorly. The difference lies in the heart of the leader and their own sense of self-worth.
For those leaders that are too insecure it often results in taking center stage way too often and even taking the credit for an idea that wasn’t originally their own.
For the leader who is intimately aware of both their own limitations and as well as their own aptitudes and who have found their self-worth in the quality of their relationships and less in their accomplishments they are more apt to notice a situation where positioning another instead of oneself is the right call to make.
I haven’t figured this out perfectly nor have I executed this internal philosophy flawlessly – I have a lot to learn in terms of leadership, especially the type that’s able to create significant impact.
What I have seen, though, time and time again is how important it is to truly have a strong team around you and not just a bunch of “Yes” men – yikes, I could tell you stories from personal experience where the leader had surrounded himself with only those that would bow to his command instead of those that would complement (and challenge) him the best. How incredibly sad those environments ultimately are, even though they may be doing ‘good’ work they are shadows of what they could really be.
We all have people who are counting on us to perform our duties and responsibilities with excellence. To them, we are the right person for the job. The question is whether or not we really are the absolute best for them in the short and long run.
Because we all know what it’s like to work for someone who has long outstayed both their welcome and their effectiveness. Unfortunately we also know what its like to be undervalued, under-utilized, or completely passed over.
Be an incredible leader of self first before you ever begin to try to dictate who’s right for what job. Be the right man (or woman) for the job of being you.