Sometimes, I’m as guilty as the next person of thinking I am exceptionally clever. That I have a plan, an idea or a vision which is so unique, none of the other people on the team have ever contemplated such genius. Boy oh boy, does that get me in trouble. Luckily, I’ve had enough coaching over the years to realize that it’s the exceptional moment when I am, in fact, the smartest person in the room. Do you know how relieved I was when I finally embraced this idea?
There are more than a few benefits. First and foremost, you can count on the larger team to innovate, to do great work and to come up with inspiring ideas that take the company to the next level. The other result is that you can focus. Without needing to worry about what the collective is up to, outside the scope of my own influence, I can trust that they’ll deliver; and they do. Finally, trusting the broader team means that you can share with your own team. Not just some things, but everything which might (or not) matter to them now, or in the future. No surprises, because the smart, driven and creative people already figured it out before you put the words into black and white, or shared in a closed door session.
Of course, there’s always the mushroom style of leadership. Keep them in the dark and feed them bullsh!t. I learned years ago with my intelligent, wonderful children that no matter how much I think they understand, their minds are already three steps ahead. Can you imagine how much of a douchebag an adult gets perceived, if they treat other adults like they aren’t smart enough to grasp where we are, or where we’re going?
No surprises, folks. The future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed.