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  • Writer's pictureDJ

Whose problem are you solving?

Are you solving other people’s problems for them, or are you giving them the tools to do it themselves?

Leaders who are reluctant to give ownership always end up doing other people’s work. People are slow to take ownership when you’re reluctant to give it. Most of us learn to let go only after we’re overwhelmed.

What are your first responses to the failure of others?

Compassion is a wonderful thing for as long as it doesn’t promote buck-passing. Is your compassion shielding others from responsibility? Are you sure you’re responding to what people need and not just taking over responsibility for their job?

How frequently are you the problem solver?

It’s natural to rush to fix problems, but when you snatch the project – and the potential solution – out of the hands of competent teammates, whose problem are you really solving? Fixing implies incompetence, and people who feel incompetent are afraid of responsibility. Competence loves to fix its own mistakes and face its own challenges. Let the right thing happen.

How frequently are you answering the same question?

When new employees or team members ask questions, give them answers. When they keep repeating the same questions, ask yourself and them what it will take for them to move forward without your help. Over-helpful leaders are surrounded by incompetent followers

How frequently are you checking in?

Where is the line between checking in and micromanaging? When you think about work tasks, do you think about what you should do or what others should do? Would you accomplish more by letting other people worry about their own responsibilities?

What are you doing to help others take ownership? Remember, the best leaders create other leaders. Give the people around you the chance to grow. They might surprise you.


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