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What is a top leadership skill?

Organizations often look for top leadership skills to ensure their management is performing strategically and effectively.  But what does that mean?   What is one of the best things leaders can do to develop themselves and their staff?  Honestly, the best thing they can do is make themselves obsolete.

On the surface, that seems counterintuitive.  Why should I work to be unneeded?  How does that help me and/or the organization? 

We really must be working to upskill our employees.  There are deficits in many skill sets that are problematic for organizational success.  We need to encourage our managers to allow their employees to shine and move forward with their careers.  In a nutshell, that involves teaching them to take over for leadership!

The biggest complement a leader can experience is in having their team shine and grow.  Just as seeing employees run screaming from specific departments reflects on managers/organizations, seeing growth and promotions also directly reflects on management. As far as how that benefits leaders, having your staff proactively working on your accountabilities allows you to move forward with your goals and experiences, helping you boost your own career.

So what are you doing in your organization to help your staff learn and grow?  Have you practiced delegating authority vs delegating tasks?  Do you provide the details of how you want the work done or do you leave it open-ended?  When your staff goes in a different direction, do you immediately step in and redirect them or do you see where their path leads?

We need to provide supportive environments that encourage curiosity and exploration.  We need to embrace failure and celebrate “positive” fails (those that lead us to better outcomes).  We need to be comfortable with uncertainty and lack of control (within reason) by empowering staff.

Teach your staff to take over for you so you (and they) can move ahead! 

Husky wearing a graduation cap.
Graduating Dog

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