Are you flying at the right altitude as a leader?
More than 75% of the leaders I have worked with over the last 20 years are flying too low:
They’re involved in meetings they shouldn’t be.
Leaders who are flying too low are focused on inconsequential details of the business, and they find themselves in the middle of approval processes that should be left to others.
Honestly, it’s a widespread disease that’s keeping individuals — and businesses — from fully realizing their potential.
So, how do you break the cycle? What one thing can you do to begin to elevate your focus? A former boss gave me some timeless advice many years ago:
"You need to resist your temptation to add value."
I know that our efforts come from a good place — we feel an obligation to use our wisdom and experience to help the enterprise make better decisions.
However, the role of most leaders is not to make things incrementally better. We’re meant to help the organization make big progress on key strategies.
To be blunt, we’re usually not as helpful as we believe. We often lack the context necessary to properly consider all of the important variables.
I’ve seen hundreds of situations in which the leader just slows things down. Even worse, they often cause the team to make suboptimal decisions.
The truth is, our teams would be far better off if we left them alone.
So, the next time someone brings you a proposal to review, or asks for your input on a customer presentation or capital project, look at them dead in the eyes and say, “If you’re comfortable, I am.” Then, walk away.
If leaving the team member alone causes issues for the business, the problem isn’t your lack of involvement. It’s a talent problem.
And that should warrant your attention.
Let’s get to the root of the issue, so your team can get back to doing the work you hired them for.