Tuesday, December 27, 2011

19 days to 40

The single biggest mistake I've seen so many managers make over the years is feeling the need to have all the answers. I've seen a bunch of potentially great people stumble because they feel that they have to be the one to come up with the great idea, and then execute on that same great idea while demanding recognition and celebration for the fact. It's a difficult thing to get past, and I can remember having plenty of challenges with this kind of stuff myself in my 20s. Who doesn't want to be the rockstar smart guy? That said, I think the main reason I've been able to keep moving forward, particularly over the past 10 years, has been by surrounding myself with great people, and understanding that when they succeed, it reflects well on everyone.

You don't have to have all the answers. No one, no matter how smart they are, can be that good. But by empowering people so that they have the freedom to be creative, and the leeway to make mistakes, the team as a whole will end up better off. Great managers, I think, refine and enable greatness. Sure, it's good to have an awesome idea and move forward with it, but it's more important to inspire, than try to take all the credit.
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