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Sometimes Leaders Need to Get Out of the Way

At a recent meeting with my team, I asked them a tough question:

“Where do I need to get out of the way?”

They were probably as surprised to hear it as I was surprised to say it. 

And before you think my motivations were wonderful and selfless, let me assure you that was far from the case. What led to my question was exasperation I felt over behaviors and outcomes in the organization that I wasn’t happy with. I couldn’t diagnose where our issues were, and so I started with me.

That question sparked a dynamic conversation among our team and caused me to realize it was time for me to lead differently. 

And the most important thing that I could do for my team in this season was get out of the way.

We determined which meetings and conversations it wasn’t essential for me to be a part of, and we defined some necessary shifts in how and where I lead.

Bottom line was that I needed to remove myself more to give my team more space to lead.

There is nothing natural or easy about this for me. I’m highly directive by nature. I thrive in being present and assertive, but in doing that, I’m hindering the development of the great leaders I’ve hired.

Sometimes the only way that you allow others to grow and to lead is by getting out of their way. As long as you’re there, you could be holding them back.

Is there an area of your organization that you need to get out of the way and let your leaders lead?