There are days where I just don’t want to! It doesn’t matter what ‘it’ is, I just don’t want to do it! The reason for this could be a million different things, I am tired, stressed, don’t feel good or honestly just don’t feel like it!
Being a leader doesn’t take a day off just because you don’t feel like it, those are the days that you need to step up! Yesterday we were at Menards and my husband had his list of rebate items which meant we walked out the door with a million rebates. If you’ve ever been to Menards trying to find the rebates is a bit like finding waldo. Sure there is a system and if you don’t know what that is then you’ll spend DAYS looking for the forms.
Yesterday I was tired and trying to just smile and get out the door. My daughter wanted to find the tickets and at first I just did it for her, then I realized that I was taking away an opportunity from her to work at finding them AND showing her value!
How often as leaders do we do something for our team or those around us simply because we can do it better. We remove the opportunity for them to learn because we are too busy, tired, cranky or whatever to wait the extra time for them to do it themselves.
There are times when leaders have to step in and assist, however more often than not, as leaders we want to help, but that usually means taking over! How about as leaders we take a step back instead of forward. Offer assistance, but not advice! Ask how can I help? AND when the answer is either I don’t know or I am good, then wait. (That is an issue for ALL of us!)
Holding our tongue and not offering advice can be super hard, take a deep breath and remember the outcome can be amazing. For me last night there was no big fanfare but what I saw was a smile on my daughters face simply because she felt that she HELPED!
So your challenge today is to not step in and take over, let your people do the work! Ask how you can help and when they say they are good, take that for the truth. Tell them you are going to go do something else and if they need you they should ask! AND when they ask don’t take over, offer assistance, ask questions and then when they are good walk away again! Trust me it will feel WEIRD! And you may feel a little anxious, that’s OK. In fact acknowledge that you feel that way, that this is a weird place to be and then remember that you are empowering someone to be better than they were!!
Now go and don’t do!