When we began researching the best practices of High Performance Organizations, we were not surprised to discover the best leaders, when attempting to build great organizations, did not work alone. They built strong leadership teams. Leaders need capacity; leadership teams not only provide capacity, they increase results. Randy Gravitt and I wrote about this in the Chess Not Checkers Field Guide. The following is an excerpt on this critical practice.
Let’s face it, leaders are busy. The very nature of being in charge of a group of people demands time and energy. It doesn’t take long for a leader to max out his capacity and discover he can’t reach his full potential without the help of others. High Performance Organizations have leaders who understand their limits and make strategic decisions to increase their capacity by building a leadership team.
Mediocre organizations are usually the opposite. They are often led by insecure Lone Ranger types who ignore limits and give into the temptation of being “the expert” on every area of the work. As a result, they bottleneck the business and fatigue sets in throughout the organization.
Secure leaders resist this temptation and approach people with a focus on developing and bringing out the best in others. They invest in the growth of individuals as well as the collective group by establishing consistent systems to evaluate performance. They also focus on one-on-one coaching opportunities, maximizing time with those closest to them. Another important way great leaders grow a leadership team is by leveraging stretch assignments, trusting team members with opportunities to prove themselves at the next level. By challenging and then trusting others, leaders create a culture where people are growing at every level of the organization.
As a leader, I hope you find yourself with a vision bigger than you can accomplish alone. If you do, the temptation will be to rely upon your own talent and experience, believing you can conquer any mountain. Eventually, you will probably climb very high. However, you will go much higher, and certainly find more enjoyment, if you will join a group of fellow travelers and invite them on a journey to the top.
If today finds you busy and you’re having a difficult time juggling your responsibilities, make the decision all great leaders make. Increase your capacity by growing your leadership team.
Growing leaders grow organizations![GLS_Shield]