Does a leader need to know everything?
Is being a leader a service job or an insurmountable task of being perfect in every respect? Does a leader have to know more than everybody else?
In my opinion the mission of a successful leader is to make sure colleagues know more than he/she does about the tasks each of them are carrying out. Have interviewed a multitude of heads of states and without failure they had several advisers present who, if necessary, filled in regarding details and areas the president didn’t know about.
So why do so many heads of companies and organisations believe they have to know everything there is to know? In today's business climate it's impossible to master everything. On top of it it's futile to try to know everything. Nobody does. So don't make your business dependent on one or two people only.
It's the leaders job to make sure that the company rests on a huge platform of knowledge and competence. And to ensure the staff really know what they are doing, not that you beat them to it in every respect.
Are you competing with your staff?
Are you a leader that gets stressed by colleagues knowing more than you do? How about looking at it as the day your staff are more skilled in what they are doing than you are, you have succeeded?
Leaders that competes with their colleagues are detrimental to the organisation they are running. Compare that with Ronald Reagan, a good example of a leader who didn't know everything but surrounded himself with experts that did and listened to them. Another prime example is Richard Branson who delegates to qualified people. And it's no secret that they are both regarded as very successful leaders. So how about following in their footsteps and make sure you thoroughly master the art of leadership and allow your colleagues to be experts at what they are doing? If you do, you will not only succeed as a leader but make sure your business flourish as well. Provided of course you listen to the experts you surround yourself with.
Photo: PhotoXpress – Alexandr Shebanov