Meet Gary. He is the leader of a small organization and a very “hands on” guy. He makes a point of knowing about every single detail in the organization and gets involved in the detail 90% of the time.
Gary prides himself in his problem solving abilities. If someone got a problem, he is the “go to guy”. Gary finds it very satisfying when people look up to him for assistance in solving a problem they might have.
He not only solves people’s problems, he also gets involved in all the decision-making processes in the organization. In his mind he plays a vital role in solving problems and making important decisions. Gary is convinced he is a very effective leader and his contribution plays an important role in the success of the organization.
Being a successful leader means people in your organization don’t need you around to be productive.
A Leader Making People Dependant
The sad truth about Gary is he is in fact not a very effective leader. The way he leads people creates a culture of dependence on him as leader in the organization. The dependence on the leader causes people not to think anymore. They become lazy to solving problems and lose confidence in their decision-making ability.
Through his behaviour Gary stifles the creative genius of the people he leads. By not affording them the opportunity to think and come up with solutions to problems and challenges, he has made them dependant.
Gary is not only doing the organization a disservice, but himself as well. By focussing so much on solving other people’s problems, he neglects development areas in his personal leadership, such as coaching and setting direction. He spends most of his time involved in problem solving mode. This steals his time, which he could have spent more productively.
A Successful Leader Don’t Need to be Present
Being a successful leader means people in your organization don’t need you around to be productive. They can function without you. Your role becomes one of setting direction and communicating vision. Once you set the direction, people will move on their own accord towards the goal. This means as leader you can spend your time on motivating, coaching and course correcting. A successful leader allows people to make their own decisions. You allow them face problems and come up with solutions, without involving the leader in the process of finding the solution. To achieve this, people in the organization must think for themselves. People must train to think, but more on this in the next post.
How often do you play the role of the rescuer as a leader, thinking you are helping out, but instead making people dependant?