Leadership is in Your Support, Not Only Your Expertise

Leadership is in Your Support, Not Only Your Expertise

We often feel pressured to have every answer, to know everyone's job better than they do, to have it all figured out; and we overwhelm ourselves with these expectations. The moment we don’t know, an uneasiness washes over us and we feel like a fraud, that we’ve been caught, the jig is up, we’re actually not qualified for our leadership role.

Fact is, your team are the experts in their jobs. It’s literally why you hired them, for their knowledge and ever-growing expertise. Will they need guidance along the way, or at times accountability, or feedback, or even some help? Of course. But it is not your responsibility to be all-knowing. That thinking is an old paradigm. Let the cooks have the kitchen, and when the time comes and you are looking to pitch in, ask them how you can help. By letting them decide how you can help, your service will be truly appreciated and much more helpful.

Recognize that your time and effort, your skills, your help, can be better utilized when channeled in a way that serves those who know best. When you defer to their expertise you not only honor them, their knowledge, and their position, but they stay the leader in their own project management. This fuels ownership. They feel responsible, and better yet, you no longer feel you have to shoulder it all. By deferring to their judgement, you are supporting them taking the lead.

As Steve Jobs said, “We don’t hire smart people so we can tell them what to do, we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

Let yourself off the hook, share the responsibility. Let your team shine in their role, let them feel what it means to lead.

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