Empower Your Team and Make Yourself Redundant!
Updated: May 19, 2022
Over the last couple of weeks I've been speaking a lot about leaders making themselves redundant. In fact, I think the ultimate measure of success for a leader is that their team is operating so well, they can go on leave without things falling to pieces, they can take time out to focus on strategy or what we call 'working ON the business'.
You might be thinking, this sounds amazing, and also, a little far fetched. The secret ingredient to a high performing team is not outsourcing work or doing it all yourself but empowering the people you have in your current team.
Here are the reasons why empowerment is the way to go.
1. Let it go (think Elsa from Frozen)
Empowerment is a leadership code for letting go of some responsibilities and giving them to the brilliantly talented people within your team.
This might feel like it's hard for many leaders, especially if you’re used to wearing all of the hats or being the technical expert within your team.
Sometimes you need to slow down to speed up.
If you learn to empower your staff, you create the space and mental clarity to work on your strategic thinking and next steps for your area of responsibility.
As your team take on more responsibilities, they inevitably take tasks off your plate as well as upskilling at the same time.
Plus, (and i say this with kindness) you are probably not going to be the best in everything that you do within your team. There are things that are not in your genius zone. Or maybe you’re good at it but you don’t like doing it.
Look for people that love doing those things you can’t or don’t want to do. Then assign (code for delegate) those tasks so you can concentrate on the things you can or love to do.
At the end of the day, isn’t that what being a leader is all about? You focus on the big picture and lead your staff to take charge of the parts that make the vision a reality.
A good rule of thumb is to think about where you're spending your time. You want to spend the most amount of time in the 'Defer' quadrant. This is things like Planning, Strategic Thinking, Professional Development and Training, and the least amount of time in the 'Delete' quadrant this is things like spending too much time in emails, socials media, making spreadsheets look good etc.
2. Encourage Different Ideas
Don’t be afraid to collect people around you who have radical ideas that you might never have thought of.
People who work in a creative space actually use all parts of their brains. This happens because the different ideas and perspectives fire off different synapses within everyone’s brain.
So, encourage your people to share their big, hairy audacious ideas that could spell a win-win situation for your team.
3. Paint the Big Picture (Macro Thinking)
Your team will trust your decisions to positively impact them. But, at times, they expect to feel empowered to make those important decisions that directly or indirectly affect them.
You don’t have to throw them into the deep end and leave them to fend for themselves.
Communication is key.
Share a clear picture of your vision with them. Then, collaborate on what they can achieve, what will be a stretch in terms of learning and timeframes and develop the next steps together.
Until next time, Eat the Frog, Get the Worm, Be the Bird, and start making yourself redundant!