Do you Need to Be the Smartest Person in Your Business?
Do you ever feel in your role that you’re a little bit overwhelmed or just have far too much on your plate and you can’t get to all the important things that you want to work on?
That sometimes happens when we think we have to be a brainiac, in other words the smartest person in the room, hanging on to everything.
So this week, I want to share with you some strategies of how to get unstuck because the smart resources that you might need, you probably already have.
As I’ve mentioned before, a strength taken too far can become a weakness.
And the strength I’m referring to today is about your intelligence.
To be able to make it in business when you start off, you’ve got to be bright, you’ve got to be hardworking, and you’ve got to make good decisions, and you’ve got to have all the answers yourself. There’s no one else to give you the answers.
You’ve got to figure it out.
And that becomes a real strength, that problem-solving, that strategizing, that figuring things out on the fly in the midst of chaos. That’s a real strength when you’re in your early days, as a founder, getting the business going.
But over time, as you add team members, that strength starts to become a weakness for you because if you are the one with all the answers or feel you have to be the one with all the answers, what’s going to happen?
Your team is going to be trained by you to come to you for the answers. I call that being the “Answer ATM”. They just come up and say, “Hey, I’ve got this problem. What should I do?” And you say, “Do this.” Then theyy go do it. And the next time they have a problem, they come back to you. “Hey, what should I do?”
So you’re training your team to come to you because you’re trying to be the smartest person in the room.
Now, you hired your team members because they’ve got intelligence of their own and they’ve got a good work ethic and they’ve got abilities and they’ve got skills. So why are you undercutting them by providing all of the answers for them?
Your role as a leader is to drive down execution and accountability and create leaders below you. How do you create a leader if you don’t give them the chance to lead, right?
So the next time someone is coming to you with a problem, ask them for the answer. Don’t feel like you have to give it out.
It’s going to feel kind of funny like you’re putting them on the spot, and you kind of are, but what you’re doing, you’re giving them a gift. You’re giving them the gift of the ability to think critically and make mistakes and get guidance from you but not come to you for all of the answers. In other words, you’re developing their leadership skills. You’re developing their capabilities.
And they’re going to love it because they’re going to feel more valued, that they’re bringing more contribution and input to the business, and being able to feel like they’re really making a difference as well.
So we don’t need to be a Patrick Star where we just are like, “uhhhh” you don’t know anything. But try to step back a little bit. Try not to give out all the answers. Try working with your team with some questions and let them be the bright, shining brainiacs of the business.
And if you have any questions that you’d like to talk about in your business, I always say this: I’m available. I’m a resource. I’m happy to have a chat anytime.
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