3 minute read
Every day I speak with wonderful leaders who, no matter how many years they’ve been a leader, tell me that one of the hardest things they have to do is to let go and not do or control everything and everyone themselves. They say it’s a constant challenge and they find it hard. Really hard. But they force themselves to do it because they know that growth is about relinquishing control to gain control of other, more vital, things.
And every day I speak with people who tell me about other leaders who don’t even try to let go. They tell me of their deeply felt frustration that they’re not trusted, not allowed to use their own intelligence, and that their talents are being wasted.
They tell me with sadness that morale is at rock bottom because this leader treats people like they’re stupid. They tell me of good colleagues and dear friends leaving the business and valued clients being let down, because of the bottlenecks this leader creates by wanting everything – even the smallest detail or change – to wait for their approval. They tell me of how stifled they feel in offering ideas because their ideas are never seen as good as the leader’s. They feel inferior. Discouraged. And they tell me they’re puzzled that the leader often changes their mind when they’ve let go of something and then take it back or insist on changes that don’t seem to make sense.
Mostly people tiptoe around these kinds of leaders. And when occasionally someone is brave enough to give that leader feedback, nothing changes, or it gets even worse. They just don’t and won’t let go.
Yet when these leaders talk to others outside the organisation – clients, competitors and investors – how do they describe their people? They say that people are their greatest asset. That they’re proud of this wonderful bunch of motivated, talented, hardworking, skilled and passionate professionals, and that the organisation wouldn’t be where it is today without them.
If anything is destined to create a cynical workforce, this will do it every time …….
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