Byron's Babbles

What Happens When You Are Gone?

Intent-based leadership relies on all team members being able to recognize what needs to be done and having the technical expertise to be able to do it. In my work with leadership development I have found that one of the toughest things for many up and coming leaders is stepping back and letting others take the lead or complete a task on their own. The best leaders do not focus on ensuring compliance with outside decisions. Instead, great leaders facilitate the team’s decisions about how they will carry out their shared purpose–mission, vision, values, and goals. In the case of education, when teachers are both responsible and accountable for making the decisions influencing school success, they also own the outcomes. Teacher teams do not have a problem with being accountable for results when they have the autonomy and authority to determine how best to achieve them. They take pride in what works well and refine what doesn’t.

In Simple Truth #44, “The Most Important Part Of Leadership Is What Happens When You’re Not There” in Simple Truths of Leadership: 52 Ways To Be A Servant Leader and Build Trust, Making Common Sense Common Practice, Ken Blanchard and Randy Conley, we were reminded that, “Servant leaders develop and empower their people so that they will perform just as well, if not better, on their own as they do when the leader is present” (p. 115). The key here is to have those we serve developed in the technical and leadership skills necessary to make decisions from wherever they are. If we position everyone to lead from where they presently are, we have decisions being made where the data is created.

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