Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Chiefs, Less Indians


Right now my dad has to stay late at the office because his team asked him to. I've read about and experienced many differen't types of leadership, and it seems it follows this model:

1) Afraid to be a leader
2) Eager to be a leader
3) Nervous about being a leader
4) Excited about being a leader
5) Tired of being a leader
6) Rather be an influence

Around stage 4 is when you actually LIKE being the guy everyone depends on and being the bottom line, the one that gets things done. However, by its very nature this means that without you, nothing gets done. Hence, staying late at the office.

Eventually you get to the point where you're tired of staying late at the office. You don't necessarily 'burnout' because you can keep going if you wanted to, but you're simply not as motivated as you once were to be that guy; your ego is satisfied that you are a leader among men.

Instead, you'd much rather be an influence. You might even go so far as to be the glue that holds everyone together and brings that element of synergy to the group, but the investment of time and effort to (micro)manage everyone is no longer yours to make.

It's important to make this transition at some point.

It's important to delegate more and take a step back. Instead of flying the plane, strap some wings on your teammates, give them a generous shove out the door and watch them soar. Eventually you want to get to a point where what you do is provide sage advice, and, most importantly, inspiration. When you speak, people listen.

Much like Master Yoda.

Julian Saint Clair

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