As the leader, what would happen if you missed a day of work or practice? Would everything be in chaos? Would your employees or players just take it easy and do nothing? Would the day be wasted?
Often we feel our organization couldn’t function without us, that we have to be there driving those we lead to success. That, in most cases, isn’t true. If you’re a great leader, you’ve trained your team, and employees over and over again for just about every situation, including the fact that you might not be there.
In my soccer coaching career, I always felt I had to be there. It was just my personality, my sense of responsibility, since I wanted to be an example for my players. Soccer taught me valuable lessons. There are no time outs or quarters, only halftime. This left only one time during the contest that I could talk with my team--halftime. And, honestly, I’m not sure how valuable that 10 minutes was. During the game, I had to allow my players to do what they do best, which is play. I couldn’t help them by yelling or calling them to the sidelines, which early on in my career bothered me. I figured out the only thing I could do was prepare them to the best of my ability in practice every day. Then on game day I had to allow them to make their own decisions (just like life) and evaluate how effective I had been.
Leadership in the work place is exactly the same. We strive to train and empower our employees to give them independence to do what they do best, utilize their talents. By doing this we create an environment of encouragement and positive support for everything they do, granting our company the right to succeed. Our involvement then becomes minimal and allows us to do our job as well.
To look out and see our employees or team working like we weren’t there is the greatest achievement we could ever hope for. Do your job as a leader, then enjoy that day off.