Great leaders will allow their team to fail—or at least risk failure. Now that I have your attention, let me explain.
Instead of determining the paths of others, perhaps the best thing to do is let people make their own choices. This empowering philosophy is tough, but giving choices to those in more junior roles that creates critical development opportunities.
This is a topic that Alan Burkhard, my dad and Outside Insights podcast regular, discusses in our latest episode. This is the last of our twelve-part e-book series called “Opposite The Crowd,” which encapsulates a lifetime of lessons that help others close their personal and professional gaps.
Those in authoritarian positions do what’s right for subordinates, or at least what they think is right for them. The issue is, learning doesn’t always occur through following others’ mandated rules, expectations, or ideals. Instead, the most important learning happens when up-and-comers are given the opportunity to discover what they want their journey to look like for themselves through trial and error—they will ultimately discover who they are.
Mentoring is different from hovering. Mentorship provides direction that leads to empowerment. Mentors and mentees understand the value of empowerment: Teach, then step back so confidence-building independence and responsibility unfold.
In 2022, this is a scary proposition. There are an infinite number of external influences that can thwart the best intentions for successful independence. Look at headlining news. But if the aim is authentic and backable, positive outcomes, more likely than not, will result.
The key topics discussed in our latest podcast are:
– Freedom to choose
– Learning from mistakes
Allow others to discover what they like, what they don’t like, what they want, what they don’t want, to fail, to rebound, to try again, and to keep trying until their version and vision of success is attained. Then allow them to go back, refine it, and do it again and again. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to allow this freedom for yourself.
Every chapter of Outside Insights’ upcoming e-book “Opposite the Crowd”, is shared by the Burkhards with a vulnerable and transparent storytelling sensibility that navigates relationships with stakeholders. The lessons are guided by a care philosophy: To be who you want to be, you must know who you are.
If you enjoyed this, I recommend listening to these past Outside Insights Podcast episodes:
The Importance of Vulnerability – A Sit Down with Todd Bavol – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #21
Leadership Lessons: A Commitment to Culture- Outside Insights Podcast Episode #20
Sales Doesn’t Have to be a Dirty Word – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #19
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