Strong Leaders Are Secure Leaders
Imagine for a moment that I'm in a band. I can play all the instruments in the band, but I'm not really spectacular at any of them. Now imagine I gather an incredible group of musicians for my team who excel in what they play. We cut loose for practice and they are filling the air with incredibly complex and beautiful music that is tight and strong. They make me look amazing just by being on stage with them!
Now imagine I stop in the middle of the first song and say, "Wait a minute, don't do all that extra stuff because I can't do it. Just play what I can play." The band picks up again, but the passion in their music is gone. They are all playing songs, but just strumming chords with no flavor. Think Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" with no opening guitar riff, just chords...it wouldn't be the same.
If I did that, I could honestly say I was the level of the band, but I wouldn't be utilizing any of my team to their fullest potential. They would be intentionally held back to only reach a mediocre level at best, and they would honestly begin looking for other bands to play in rather quickly.
As a leader, you have to learn not to be intimidated by members of your team who may be more talented in an area of business than you are. As a matter of fact, you should instead utilize them to their fullest ability! Your team's success makes you look good as a leader, so why not let everyone shine in their strengths?
I knew a company president who was so insecure he crippled his company out of fear. He had a manager who had been running their department for years and had it running smoothly and efficiently. Unfortunately, the manager was not intimidated by the company president, treating him as a human being and offering suggestions to help when he could, thereby insinuating the president didn't always make the right choices.
Eventually, the president became so insecure he literally dictated every single decision the manager could make, and then insisted the manager tell his team that he (the manager) was the one making these changes. It didn't work because the team knew their manager's style and these sudden weird changes and the lowering of the quality of their work wasn't something he would do. It just didn't fly and they didn't believe it for a moment. They knew where the bad decisions were coming from.
The insecure president got to go home thinking he was a big shot making all the decisions and pushing better leaders down, but his company could only reach his level--and unfortunately, it wasn't a very high level to reach. They had to lower their standards and morale suffered as a result. The company couldn't reach its fullest potential because the president was insecure and intimidated by stronger leaders.
As a leader, if you are the strongest, smartest, and most talented person on your team, you need to begin hiring some people immediately! The entire point of your team is to be there as a whole, being strong where some are weak and working together to feel they are accomplishing something for the company. You should never be the most amazing person in the room at all times! You need support! You aren't perfect!
A strong leader is one who is completely secure in the fact that they aren't the most talented person in every area. Instead, they defer to a particular team. The leader can indeed have a vision of what they want to accomplish, but if you're telling the team every single step to make then you are failing in your position (or they are and should be replaced).
When my book Ignore the Impossible was published, I found an incredibly gifted graphic artist to create the cover. It looks amazing!
I could have created a cover for the book because I have the ability to do so, but it's not my strong suit so it wouldn't have looked as good. Instead, I went to someone who had that gift and utilized them to their fullest! The end result was an eye-catching cover that compels folks to read the book. And I'm perfectly okay with the fact that it was their vision for the book that came to life. It's the best quality book I could have dreamed of thanks to having people who were strong where I wasn't.
Revel in the success of your team. Give each person a place to shine in their strengths! When your team succeeds, it makes you look good and it makes them feel fulfilled. Don't be so insecure you can't allow someone else to shine. You don't have to be the most talented member of the band to still be the lead singer.