It's All About Empowering — Not Controlling
Phasing out your negative management techniques is one of the biggest steps you can take to become a stronger leader. It might seem counterintuitive, but you empower yourself as a leader every time you step back, lead positively and let your team have a chance to succeed their way.
You might already know this, but avoiding management isn't as easy as it sounds. You may have associated personally handling these practices with your success. You may view them as being essential in preventing some type of loss or mitigating a certain kind of risk. You may just be used to doing things a certain way.
Regardless of the situation, chances are some of the things you do are more about control than leadership. Effective leaders empower their team to figure out how things should be done. They focus on directing everyone towards what needs to be accomplished.
Take Every Opportunity To Empower Through Culture
If you do end up taking control of the management side of a project, then make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. Your team might benefit with you showing them an example of how you do things. You may need to jump in and help with a course correct. Part of your function on the team might even be issuing directions.
If you find yourself in a situation where it seems like you need to control what's happening, try to keep in mind your main job as the leader is to empower your team. That starts with knowing what success looks like: developing your vision. Go beyond how things should be done. Go beyond what needs to happen. Define your ideal situation, commit to it and create a culture that makes sure you succeed.
When everybody on your team is focused on executing culture, they feel more in control. You'll find increased confidence leads to better choices throughout your organization. You're not just telling your team members how to do their jobs - you're fostering their inner drive and skill as leaders. You're showing them the way and trusting they will want to follow.
Take Responsibility for Your Vision of Success
Sometimes you may have to call yourself out if you try to manage your team. Stress, challenges and your own personal mood can all put you back in the habit of trying to manage your team. That's ok — leadership isn't about being perfect. Taking responsibility when you slip up generates respect and helps you grow as a leader. Commit to your own personal empowerment and remember to take your team with you as you succeed.