Byron's Babbles

Letting Go Leadership

CnX7LlsWIAAMsC4As an organization grows, evolves, and develops, it needs a leader who knows how to give autonomy to different stakeholders who can be leaders more effectively in all areas. In other words, it needs a leader who can let go of needing to push all decisions out and do it all. I believe most leaders have a hard time letting go is because they believe that they can do it better. I also believe that many leaders have a narcissistic fear that somehow they won’t get credit for the successes of the organization or it won’t be exactly like she envisioned it. Guess what? It probably won’t be. It will probably be better. If you want to read a little more about this fear thing, click here to take a look at a post entitled “The Fearless Leader” by a great teacher leader, Ann Semon.

The best leaders, however, learn how to do it – let go. In fact, they often learn to love doing it once they start bringing in people who are even better than they are in key areas–people who know more than they do, and from whom they can learn. When that happens, it can push organizations forward to a whole new level. This strategy in a sense “unlocks” the entire organization to continue evolving in a much faster and healthier way.img_0486-1


As part of letting-go, the best leaders learn to trust the people they’re bringing into the organization to become the future leaders. Leaders must be a part of building this trust by being actively involved in, and owning, the leadership development of those in the organization. Let me emphasize here – Development of the leadership pipeline is crucial here. This can only happen if you’re willing to give all in the organization ample control. Ask yourself these questions:

  1.  “Do I really trust them to the point that I’ll let them make tough decisions?”
  2.  “Do I trust them to learn?”
  3.  “Do I trust them to grow?”
  4.  “Do I trust them to experience their own failures?”

Can you answer yes to all these questions? If you can get to yes on all these it will be an incredibly powerful force for your organization. The culture you want to build is one that gives other leaders full autonomy without micromanagement. So let’s talk about this empowerment and autonomy…

Indy_Downtown-smlI was fortunate to take a group of teachers and new principal to Harry and Izzy’s last night as a planning and team building. So, you know me, we don’t just talk about empowerment and intent based leadership, we practiced it. I wrote about what I like to do already this week in “Imagine A Place Where Everyone Is A Leader!” Click here to read the post. I literally would not let our group even look at the menu and told them we were going to empower our amazing waitress, Jen Becknell, to pick our meals for us. We gave her any boundaries, such as being pregnant, food allergies, et cetera. We even gave her permission to pick our drinks for us. Then, off Jenn went to put together one of the most incredible meals ever. I would love for Jenn to post a comment to this post as to what she chose and how she chose the dishes for us. Having done this now multiple times I am struck that I have never had a bad meal. We asked Jenn how she became so knowledgeable and she explained all the professional development Harry and Izzy’s had given her. Even things like going to their meat supplier in Chicago to understand the different types of aging processes in beef. This is a great example of Harry and Izzy’s giving Jenn the technical skill necessary to be fully empowered to be a great ambassador for the organization.

If you develop your leaders properly you will be able to trust the people who you hired to do their jobs with full autonomy, you may be surprised by how well it works out. Letting Go Leadership is nothing more than empowering your employees and teams to make their own decisions. As long as everyone has a shared vision and is committed to doing what’s best for the organization and those you serve, it can lead to bigger and better things. This certainly the environment I strive to create for every staff member in our school.



One Response

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  1. K. Edmunds said, on July 15, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    I enjoyed your post! Thank you so much for sharing. I made a post today about leadership styles and would love for you to let me know what you think about it. Feel free to visit my page 🙂


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