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It's not all about you, and that's a good thing

There’s a school of thought in the corporate world that goes something like this: “I don’t like to delegate because I can do it better than anyone else.”

Perhaps that’s true. Perhaps you are the only person in your organization that knows how to produce a specific type of report, or do a high-level presentation to a non-specialized audience. Perhaps you really are the only one who can write persuasive, literate speeches.

That doesn’t mean you should do it.

Your strengths don’t necessarily build a stronger organization.

While it can be almost physically painful for some of us to allow others to make mistakes, we can all benefit from learning to take a step back.

Unless your team members have room to grow, there won’t be any growth. Nurture, mentor, advise and support. That’s what a leader’s role needs to be. If a staff member comes up with a great idea you know just how to implement – avoid making it all about you. Ask smart questions instead, that can lead an employee to understand all aspects of their idea. Offer direction on how they can put the plan together and let them work through the steps toward implementation.

Will the end product be as good as (you think) you could have done it? Maybe not. But it will be the first step on a learning curve for your employees; a learning curve that will allow them to gain new skills and confidence with every step forward.

And just as it can be difficult to stand back and let others learn from their mistakes, it can also be a positively joyful experience when you see the results of that process. There are few workplace experiences more satisfying than encouraging a colleague to carry a project through from conception to implementation and realizing -- it’s better than anything you could have done.


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