Every leader has insecurities. For instance, some leaders don’t like to be outshined by any member of their team. In their sphere, they must be the ‘best’, ‘smartest’ and have the final say. If someone smarter comes along, they would have problems. It’s one reason such leaders surround themselves with yes-people – they won’t tolerate being questioned on their turf. Their ideas are the ‘best’ and that’s it. These leaders are only interested in gathering followers. Ultimately, this attitude works against innovation because of the nature of change.
Successful innovation requires that you don’t just attract followers, but grow leaders – and this calls for a different mindset from that of simply leading followers. To grow and lead leaders, you first must abandon the traditional leadership framework of ‘getting all you can, canning all you get and sitting on the can.’ It is essential to have or develop a passion for empowering others. You should understand that lighting the candle of others doesn’t mean that your light would go out.
In the innovation process, empowering others to lead multiplies team effort. Leaders that lack this insight find out that progress of their projects is often slow because every tiny detail must be approved by them. Team members are not free to make judgement calls at critical moments because they would be penalized by their insecure boss. This leadership style kills team morale. Also, skilled professionals feel frustrated and insulted when their work flow is frequently interrupted in the bid to micro-manage them.
To grow leaders, you should be intentional about it. You ought to make a quality decision to develop a growth plan for your team members. This should be part of your innovation strategy because who they are has to change for the innovative idea to work. New ideas demand that we expand in scope and leaders ought to take advantage of this to grow their team. So, what is your plan? How do you intend to transform your followers into leaders?
Currently, the pressures in business means that it’s unwise to be the only ‘leader’ in your team. For exponential growth, every member of your team ought to know how to be effective leaders, their roles irrespective. That way, you’re confident that the project isn’t dependent on one person. Anyone can step up to the plate when needed and the project can go onseamlessly. So, do yourself a favor, empower those around you to be strong leaders. You will be stronger for it.
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