Leadership is often lonely.
This loneliness is compounded by the fact that many leaders can’t quite figure out how to put together a good team around them. These leaders have vision but no real team. They have been blessed with a lot of natural leadership ability, make decisions intuitively, and feel like it’s hard to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by a bunch of pigeons. (Sorry Mike Tyson)
Many leaders have only themselves to blame for not having a good team around them. Tweet this
Here are 4 realities that you must embrace in order to build and keep a quality team around you.
1. Sink or Swim Doesn’t Work.
Just because you were thrown into the deep end and had to sink or swim does not mean that this is the way to develop the leaders around you. Sink or Swim leads to Sink for most people. Intuitive leaders often think that everyone should travel the same path that they travelled. Because this was the path that worked for them, they assume that the sink or swim philosophy is an effective way to test potential leaders around them. When a potential leader swims (which rarely happens) leadership development is a success. When a potential leader sinks, the intuitive leader tells himself that it wasn’t meant to be. If you keep embracing the sink or swim philosophy of leadership development you will never have a quality team around you.
2. Not Everyone Thinks like you do.
Many leaders spend way too little time with developing leaders.They say things like, “If I were in that role, I would want to be left alone and have freedom.” But the reality is that you would likely not be satisfied with that role. That’s why you are the leader and you want to be the leader. But guess what? Not everyone wants to be you or thinks like you.
Assuming that a person on your team wants the same thing that you would want is a mistake. Most of the people on your team need hands on feedback, regular interaction, support, encouragement, and guidance. It’s great that you don’t want to be a micromanager, but perhaps your team needs to be developed more than you are currently doing.
3. There is no Substitute for Invested Time and Commitment.
If you want a team around you then you will need to build and develop that team. This is going to take time and energy. Sink or swim is either ignorance or laziness. Top leaders should be investing at least 1/3 of their time in developing future leaders. There just aren’t enough ready-made leaders out there to instantly create the team you need around you.
Also Read: How to Become a Leader Developing Machine
4. Time Invested in Future leaders will Pay off Exponentially.
Imagine if you could invest $1000 and be guaranteed that your investment would double in 3 months. Most of us would make that investment. I would try to make it multiple times. This is the way that investing in future leaders works. Time with your team is an investment in more productivity than you could ever produce by yourself. I often challenge leaders that I coach to do the exercise suggested in Tim Ferriss’ book The 4 Hour Workweek. If you had a heart attack, and the doctor told you that you could only work for 10 hours per week, what would you spend your 5 time blocks of two hours each doing? A wise leader would spend a majority of this time investing in others who could multiply work many times over.
Want a good team around you? You will simply have to invest the time and energy to build that team.