If a stranger approached you on the street shouting it, would you?

If you were driving down a dark and isolated road and met by a stranger standing in the middle of the road with their hand up, waving you down. Would you pull the car over?

My guess is that if you did, you’d do so hesitantly or cautiously.

What if I asked you to be the stranger? Do you feel confident people would stop for you?

If we run the scenario again and the stranger was wearing a blue uniform marked with a well-known patch and surrounded by the familiar glow of red and blue lights. Would you stop?

Let’s hope, for your sake, the answer is yes.

Same task. Different authority.

This continues to be an important leadership lesson I’m learning in becoming less controlling whilst still feeling in control.

If you want to delegate effectively, delegate the authority not just the work.

It doesn’t seem reasonable to hold someone accountable for something they lacked authority for. Like being frustrated that a project is delayed when each micro decision needs to be run by you for approval.

– When we delegate tasks, we train dependent workers. They rely on us to get their work done.
– When we delegate authority, we develop empowered leaders. They release us to get our best work done.

As a leader you can be across everything, but you don’t need to be in everything.  If everything has to go through you, your team can’t help carry anything for you, which means you’ll end up taking on more than you have to.

Your team needs the freedom to make decisions and not just execute them, and that starts with you.

A question to reflect on:
“How can I empower my team to make more decisions and not just execute them?”