One of the best tactics of a leader who wants to win is utilizing the team. That’s the whole definition of a leader is somebody who leads a team, whether it’s an organization or company or entire nation or army or school administration or church and so on (1).
No man is an island as the old story goes. Moses was trying to lead the Hebrews through the desert, estimated at 600,000 people (2). His wise father-in-law recommended that he form a type of government where he would just be on piece of an organization of leaders (3).
“Me” Syndrome is a matter of trust…
As one who has created several corporations, and rather massive (100+ managers), I can speak from personal experience that it’s one thing to have a team, it’s another thing to trust them to do their job. Usually they’re fully capable of doing their jobs well, and yet we as leaders sometimes want to do all the work ourselves because we only trust one person: Me.
It’s hard to let go of the totalitarian reigns and allow others to do their job. Especially if I think they’re not as good as I think I am. Comparing ourselves to others or them to ourselves is something we should never do because in fact everybody is different; we all are better at something (4).
How much can you do?
The one thing I’ve always told my fellow leaders within our organization whenever they’ve had a similar temptation to do all the work themselves is to remind them how many emails they can read and write per day. Most people can’t write that many letters in a day. How many letters can you read in a day? Maybe 200 max (5)?
But what if you have an organization of 5,000 people? Or maybe you’re dealing with customers and so if you’re a large company selling soap for example to several countries that’s millions upon millions of customers. How can you possibly read millions of letters from customers and respond to those millions of letters?
Which is why you have no choice but to allow the organization that’s beneath you to do their job. That’s why you hired the people in that organization, to help. Each person doing their own job ensures that the 5,000 or 50 million people are being cared for.
It’s no secret that CEOs often die young from heart attacks. And after evaluating the possible causes for this sad statistic the experts have concluded it was due to being being overworked (6). A leader who does his job correctly, which is actually outlined in the very definition of leadership is a person who leads a team, and team denotes that they’re all working together, each person pulling their own weight.
If the boss is doing all the work, or one of the people on that team is pulling more weight than anybody else it destroys that group’s claim to being a team. Because there is no “I” in team (7). Everyone must pull their own weight.
If the leader isn’t letting go, and is holing the reigns too tightly, that extra exertion over a few years, a decade, several decades could lead to forced early retirement: Burnout or worse! Mother nature is often like steel, it doesn’t have feelings, it doesn’t suffer from pride, or bias, or allegiance.
When it twists and bends, it’s honest, you can see for yourself what has happened to that steel. You know what sank that ship. There’s no hiding the truth. A leader can say that he or she is fully utilizing their team and the power of delegation, sharing responsibilities and work load, but when their heart finally gives out, the surgeon can see right away the truth (8).
You’re a member…
My recommendation to leaders is to recognize that a leader isn’t only the head of the team but also a member, whether it’s an organization, army, nation, church, school, company, etc. Trust is a hard thing to swallow sometimes, it’s usually impossible to find people who live up to our expectations and desires (9).
I’ve heard many times that the reason so many women in the world are single, isn’t because there are not enough men, but because most men don’t live up to the expectation and desires of most women (10). Likewise I’ve heard several leaders of organizations consisting up tens of millions of women recommend to women that they lower their expectations so that they don’t go through life alone (11).
And don’t forget, as a leader your health depends on delegating the heavy work load to others on your team so that you don’t end up like so many other executives who died young and old, but too soon, from heart attacks. Think to yourself regularly that the health of the team equates to your own health as well, literally!
A famous war General once said that the secret to being a good leaders is finding ways to convince those around you to do what you want (Dwight D. Eisenhower). He didn’t say that he needed a good team (resources, ability, strength, etc). Instead he utilized the team that he had. And he was a very successful leader (became US President) who lived to a very ripe old age (79).
-Ben Arnold (ChatFellow)
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CEO Ben Arnold (ChatFellow)
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(1) What Is Leadership?
(2) Jethro Advises Moses Concerning Leadership
(3) How many came out of the exodus of Egypt
(4) When We Think Other People Are Better Than Us
(6) What killed SAP CEO Ranjan Das and lessons for corporate India
(7) What is a team? definition and meaning
(8)World Renown Heart Surgeon Speaks Out
(9) Hiring Managers: Don’t Try to Find the Perfect Employee!
(10) Why you should lower your marriage expectations right now
(11) Choosing and Being the Right Spouse