Let the Team Fly

It’s a leader’s responsibility to create leaders (Maxwell 1995). Sometimes I shudder to understand why leaders develop leaders and later become obstacles on the journeys of mentees. Like my training manager once told me. Sir! If I work under you and get trained as a knowledge transfer professional, would you expect me to be a pharmacist? Good followers look beyond a leader’s achievement, which is why good followers should be better than leaders. Let the team fly. Don’t take their power. Empower them. For power is just a visitor. It doesn’t stay. It may be with you overnight and may decide to stay longer with others. Sadly, power leaves you when you need it most. This is the more reason why leaders must learn to give power away and rather crave for influence. In any case, use power wisely when you have it because today it will be here, tomorrow it will be gone. It’s like life. When you groom teams bless them when they intend to leave. Yours is to fulfil your part as a leader (Menkes 2006).

“This is why I sometimes question leaders who take followers to the top and later wish they fall.”

Let your followers aim high. Obviously, there is no traffic in the sky. The sky is too big enough for everyone. Don’t asphyxiate team growth. Leaders form teams and groom them to adjourn. You don’t subjugate teams. You grow them and exalt them to shine. Invariably, be the wings that support teams to fly. In my experience in building teams I found three categories of people in teams. They are team members, team players and team owners. Team members are there for the team. As a matter of fact, teams can function effectively without them. Interestingly, they possess all the traits of team players, yet they don’t play within the team. They are passive. Team players are there for the team. They play their parts and go further to ensure that interconnectedness of team roles is fulfilled. They are always ready to help and they always see the success of teams as theirs. They are active.

The third category of people, in my people development experience, is team owners. I always urge followers who dream to lead someday to aspire to be team owners. They inspire teams. They substitute their reputation for the team. They are quick to be there for the team and they are ready to groom their kind. They believe that power is not only transient but power is in transit to the next man. They aspire to inspire mates. Team owners are the new bold leaders who are ready to make other colleagues fly. They correct the team and make themselves small for the team to appear big. They are selfless and they know that you don’t train people and subsequently prevent them from flying. They actually own the woes of teams. They carry the blame and bounce the credit to the teams. If you want to grow a team from good to great, develop team members to become team owners. It’s my little but top secret. If you grow team members to become team owners, you can always delegate tasks so to free your hands to do other things.This is why I sometimes question leaders who take followers to the top and later wish they fall. It doesn’t happen like that. Don’t throw a kite down from the top of a building. It will fly higher. If you take teams up, let them fly. You’ll surely be mentioned someday.This is Leadership!

Author: Richard Kwarteng Ahenkorah

Principal Trainer, Eagle Knowledge Institute || Author: Your Journey To The Top

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