Facing the Challenge of Restraint

restraint - bird pulling back

Tell me the last time you didn’t step in to help. I know you love talking about everything you do. What you aren’t doing matters, too.

Restraint represents one of leadership’s great challenges. Success includes pulling back.

Stepping in frustrates talent. Fixing de-motivates. Solving insults.

Unrestrained leaders don’t help,
they get in the way.

Leadership restraint is:

  1. Stepping out so others can step in.
  2. Waiting while others step up.
  3. Investing in tomorrow.
  4. Expressing confidence in others.

Leadership restraint isn’t:

  1. Passive. Ask questions. Stop train wrecks.
  2. Inactive. Monitor progress.
  3. Spontaneous. Carefully plan restraint.
  4. Neglect. Healthy restraint energizes others. Unhealthy restraint frustrates. Neglect causes people to wonder if you care or if they matter.

Exercise restraint when:

  1. Problems are being addressed rather than ignored.
  2. Motivated employees press for more.
  3. Progress occurs.
  4. Failure can be overcome.

Ego hinders restraint; humility enables it. Restraint used well develops others, leverages potential, and enhances success.

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