Get out of the Way

By Dan Rockwell

Good people rise higher when leaders get out of their way.

There are three prerequisites for getting out of a good persons way.

First, clearly describe the desired outcome (delegate outcomes not tasks).

Second, provide necessary resources.

Third, set a time limit (accountability).  Then get out of the way.

Leaders interfere by giving good people too much guidance.  In so doing, they mold others into their own image.  The result, followers won’t rise higher than their leader.

Leaders reach higher when they hire good people and get out of the way.

Speaking of hiring, many leaders hire themselves.  Look around you; do the people in the office have your personality type?  You hired you. Your organization won’t rise above you.  You can get out of the way by hiring people different from you.

I’m seeing people rise in the nonprofit I lead.  A young man just stepped into a leadership role and is taking his team to new levels.  Additionally, a young woman has taken a leadership role and she is doing the same thing.  Why are they exceeding their predecessors?  They were given some guidance and then left alone.  Good people will rise higher than you have risen if you meet the three prerequisites and then get out of their way.

Finally, infusing your followers with encouragement is a positive form of getting out of their way.

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How do leaders hinder good people?

What other ways can leaders get out of the way?

This post was previously published on Leadership Freak and is republished here with a Creative Commons license.

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