That’s just sad - I keep having the same observation once in a while:

Leaders that have already built some kind of position keep siloing the knowledge, power and initiative while blocking any decision-taking process in the same time.

What does it mean? Let me quote some typical phrases:

  • "If anyone else does that, it will be crappy, I have to do that on my own."

  • "Sure, I’ll tell you all of that as soon as I will go through all 1000 e-mails in my inbox."

  • "No, no, no, no. This is something I didn’t approve, tell me what kind of fields would you like to add."

  • "Ah well, it’s complex, don’t bother yourself, I’ll do it in the evening or on weekend."

In simple words - some leaders build their importance to the organization (or project) on becoming a bottleneck everyone depends on. This way they are always the most visible and they can enforce their ideas in a way everyone will notice the impact they make.

And that’s plainly dumb.

I admit, that was my basic instinct as well, but I keep fighting it (hopefully I do succeed, others will tell better) - to be frank, it was one of the hardest lessons to learn.

The problem with such approach is that:

  1. You’re killing any efficiency in your team (if you wonder why - check the Theory of Constraints).

  2. You’re killing any motivation in your team - because you eat up all the space people need to show their skills, so they will not self-develop (what for?)

  3. You’re killing any initiative in your team - people have to wait for you anyway, approve everything with you, they need no creativity on their side

  4. You’re killing yourself by doing everything on your own and having no slack-time and no recharge-time - I’ve committed a separate post on that already

That’s not really adding value - that’s under-utilizing your team and being simply not fair with them.

How are you supposed to show your quality then? 

By building a *TEAM*. Because it’s teams that succeed, not individuals - combined mind-power of motivated team mates easily outsmarts even best individuals. How to do that? What to start with? Let me quote Ray Osherove (http://juristr.com/blog/2013/02/the-coaching-architect/):

Make yourself unneeded.

Delegate. Coach. Counsel. Motivate. Encourage. EMPOWER. Give feedback, make sure people achievements are visible and recognized.

This is what leadership is about.