Leadershipso with the passing of an iconic sports figure a couple of weeks ago i heard a great many things said; many of them revolved around his leadership style.

he seemed v

ery comfortable, even preferred hiring someone to do a job & then truly freeing them to do that job.  I heard one story of a guy who had hired on & kept coming to his boss to clear all his decisions. the reply was simple, “I brought you here to do this job.  and so I want you to do it.”  meaning, “you don’t have to keep asking me about how to do the job.  just go & do it.

I realized something there…

this guy, who owned a multi-billion dollar company, trusted the people around him to do their jobs.  and then that made me realize something else; he was a leader of leaders, not a leader of followers.

a leader of followers says, “here’s the plan, and if you can get on board & execute the plan in the way I’ve envisioned it then we’ll be just fine.  but you’ve got to do it the way I’m seeing it.”  that’s a leader that needs followers to succeed.

a leader of leaders says, “here’s the overall idea of what we’re trying to accomplish,  but I’m believing in you for a lot of the details.  and that’s why you’re here.  now let’s get to it!”

there may be leaders who would suggest, “this is my money, or my company, or my name on the line.  and i want it done the way i want it done.”  and that’s perfectly legit to feel that way.  but, there is the risk of getting exactly what you planed for and nothing more.  and yes, there is risk in this.

it’s risky because if you never free the people who work for you you may be missing out on the next best chapter of your companies life.

do you believe that you’re always the smartest person in the room?  or are you willing to believe and ACT like there is someone here that will think in such a way that i never would…and that’s actually a really good thing?

and maybe that’s the trick to being a great leader…

…not just a good one.