How to Step Back and Succeed More
It’s easier for leaders to step up and in than to step down and back. Beginnings demand stepping in; enduring, exponential success calls for stepping back.
Before stepping back:
Before you step back, build people who embrace organizational values. People who don’t share values always suggest wrong directions, dilute focus, and slow progress.
After values, clarify mission and vision.
Clarity is powerful but not enough. Success requires people who possess confidence and optimism; one follows the other. Building confidence in others gives leaders the confidence to step back.
Confident people believe they can succeed in ways they haven’t already succeeded. To put it like Captain Kirk ” They boldly go where no man has gone before.”
Successful leaders nurture and feed confidence in people who are facing new challenges.
Foundations of confidence:
You build confidence in others when you:
- Provide new challenges.
- Give support from experienced leaders.
- Emphasize past wins.
- Break large goals into small tasks.
- Celebrate progress.
- Honor effort, even when progress disappoints.
After clarity, confidence ignites passion.
The confidence shift:
Leaders and managers usually talk about things people do like goals, tasks, and deliverables. You’ll get further by focusing more on who people are and less on what people do.
If you ever hope to step back so others can step in, you’ll become a confidence builder.
Your inclination to step up and in doesn’t build confidence in others, it blocks it. Quickly stepping in indicates lack of confidence in others. Hold back. Enable others to step up and in.
How are you a confidence builder?
How do leaders undermine confidence in others?
Image source: Larry Coppenrath Click to enlarge
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I think leaders frequently step in when they fear potential failure. To build confidence I think that failure has to be expected and accepted as part of the process. When failure occurs, it is a lesson on how things can be changed for the better and not a reason for a leader to step back in and take over. When failure happens and a leader still holds back it sends a very strong message of the leader’s confidence in others to perform strong in the future.
Thanks for your comment. You make me think about the importance of a failure philosophy or a failure plan. (Not that we plan to fail but we plan how to be and act when failure happens)
The way we handle failure does more to energize innovation and trying new things than the way we handle success.
I think managers talk about things, leaders talk about people. Managers talk about target, leaders talk about vision. I think confidence building is people centric exercise. When you value others, they will feel confident. When you make good relationship and provide them right information, they feel confident. I provide confidence in other by creating awareness and harnessing others potentials. Many a times, people do not know their potentials. Leaders undermine confidence in others by not connecting. When leaders are concerned about themselves, they create space with others. Intention plays great role in deciding what kind of leader you are. Authentic and servant leaders create great confidence in others.
Thanks for jumping in on this one and sharing your insights.
You said, “Many times people don’t know their potential.” That’s one reason we lack confidence. Love it.
Show people their potential. My experience is they don’t believe you when you do, at least at first.
When people see themselves as having potential they can move toward fulfilling it.
Thanks for giving me something to think about.
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Totally agreed with your write-up, it’s a great summary. Typically when short-term results are disappointing in corporations, we often see leaders step in and micromanage – the exact opposite of confidence building. Superior leaders must resist that temptation – and manage their own bosses (the CxO’s) accordingly.
Happy Sunday !
I have found it is a delicate balancing act to allow someone to fail whilst giving support (which allows them and the organisation to grow) compared to allowing repeat failures with no intervention (which demoralises the organisation and failure becomes disheartening and “the norm”).
One is empowering and the other disempowering. Only a confident and authentic leader will have the courage to do the former and a weak leader will often do the latter, especially if the decision will be unpopular. Which team do you belong to?
Another thought provoking blog, Dan, thanks for your insight.
Leaders undermine confidence in others by not connecting.
THis really speaks to me.
How do you encourage/guide a leader to connect when they are so task oriented that the people side of things is deemed unimportant?
Also, trying to lead from below by sharing insights etc but get no feedback.
Also in large organisations where people come together for a short project/task this can be very tricky to acomplish.
Reblogged this on Jots & Thoughts and commented:
I like the opening lines: It’s easier for leaders to step up and in than to step down and back. Beginnings demand stepping in; enduring, exponential success calls for stepping back.
The article you have presented has riddled out intricate structure of Management into a simple structure. It is amazing to know that there are articles like this on web which actually takes the meaning of life in new aspect. This part is true” Before you step back, build people who embrace organizational values. People who don’t share values always suggest wrong directions, dilute focus, and slow progress..”
Thank you so much for the encouragements.
This is a great article. For leadership, team building, and organizational development, I have found the best way to get things started is to perform a neurological based assessment of left brain-right brain preferences. When you see the results from that, everything else sort of falls into place.
I totally agree that for successful leadership we have to share our values. I also believe the process starts in the hiring process, as managing employees can be the biggest frustration for business owners.