By Peter Economy
CREDIT: Getty Images
Leaders often have difficulty letting go of the control that they have over their business dealings and their people. This mistake can make life very costly (even to the point of illness) and it also cheats capable employees of the chance to grow
Here’s another way to think about it: If you had to take a year away from the office, could your company sustain itself without you? Are your employees empowered enough to make decisions on their own? If the answer is no, it’s time to stop making all the decisions yourself and spread the wealth.
To fix this, leaders must let go of day-to-day repetitive functions and delegate them to their staff. In short, a leader can become much more effective by letting go — just a little.
ere are 5 steps to letting go and allowing others to lead with you.
1. Give your people responsibility and authority.
Instead of trying to do everything yourself, assign parts of your job to the members of your team — along with the authority to get those responsibilities done. Keep close tabs on performance, and step in with additional training and support when necessary.
2. Resist the urge to step in.
It’s hard to resist the urge to do a task yourself — especially when an employee is just learning how to do it. But if you want to be an effective leader, then resist the urge you must. Your employees will grow in their skills and engagement when you do.
3. Transparency is key.
Some leaders have traditionally controlled their people by withholding information. This is a mistake. Your people need to know everything you do to do their jobs well. Err on the side of over-communicating.
4. Goal-setting is not just for leaders.
While you are responsible for setting overall organizational goals, involve your employees in setting the goals they will be responsible for to attain those overall organizational goals. Give your employees a voice in the goal-setting process and they will be much more likely to internalize their goals and work to achieve them.
5. Take a big step back and delegate a lot.
Ultimately, one of your most important jobs as a leader is to grow other leaders in your organization. Do this by delegating work to your people — as often as you possibly can.
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