Leadership Tip: The Joy of Not Knowing

October 30, 2017

Some people believe that great leaders have all the answers. Not true. Successful leaders don’t know everything. But they know people who do.

For leaders, it’s okay not to know everything. Most people have a strong natural desire to be “in the know.” That’s why gossip magazines and tabloid newspapers sell so well. Leaders also have a strong desire to be “in the know” when it comes to their organizations. No leader likes to be blindsided. However, good leaders can’t afford to be caught up in every little detail of the organization. If they do, they lose their perspective and their ability to lead. In any organization, problems should always be solved at the lowest level possible. If every problem must be shared with leaders first, then solutions take forever. Besides, the people on the front lines are usually the ones who provide the best solutions, whether it’s on the production line, the battle line, or the breadline.

Most things can be accomplished effectively in many ways. What about you? Are you determined to know everything that goes on in your organization or department? Do you get a thrill from being the first to know? Do you live by the motto, “If you want something done right, do it yourself”? If so, you are complicating your life and risking burnout. This only limits you as a leader. Begin relying on other people and cultivating trust in them. Only then can you be free to focus on the most important things.