- Leandro Herrero - https://leandroherrero.com -

‘Getting out of the way’ as a leadership strategy

First published September 2018

Also called get out of the room and don’t interfere. Also asking the question ‘may I be, perhaps, actually, the cause of this nonsense impasse?’ Possibly also, ‘am I talking too much?’ (I need to practice that one).

You may know from previous Daily Thoughts that ‘leader as architect’ is my favourite model. Leaders create the conditions, the scaffolding.

Scaffolding  for assessment of opinions, contradictory views, navigating through alternatives. By definition, if the leader makes statements non-stop, even if he says ‘I am here to listen’, he is not leaving room for possible alternative questions. He is providing the scaffolding, and the materials, and the plans, and the walls, and painting the walls.

Simple heuristic: in doubt, leave the room.

If ‘you can’t do that’ because you don’t trust that the team would go anywhere solid, then you have a problem. Statistically, there is a strong chance that the problem is you.

There is  a lot of ‘you’ here.

The reflection is simple and elegant: would these guys be better off if I left them in/with their own space? The honest reflection is what matters, not the answer.

Getting out of the way may be one of your most successful leadership strategies. Also, its easy to test: get out of the way.

‘Just-in-time un-management’.

I am leaving you now.