A leader’s role is to inspire people and motivate their people to achieve results. It is also the job of a leader to recognize when it’s time to pull back and let the fired-up followers move forward. In other words, inspire your team—then get out of their way!
Successful leadership cultivates future leaders, recognizing when to push and when to let them fly. Empower them with the necessary skills and then allow them to apply what you’ve taught them. Only then can they learn. They might stumble here and there, but it’s part of the process. With the right leadership, they will learn to solve problems on their own. They will have the confidence to take risks. They will learn that rejection is not an end, but an opportunity.
“Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could,” said Steve Jobs.
Seeing the positive impact you have on a person can be captivating. It’s invigorating—so much so that maybe you keep going. Fight that urge. Unleash them to charge forward and start putting their inspiration, knowledge, and unbridled enthusiasm to work. Like the racehorse primed and ready to run out of the gate, open the door and let them show you what they’ve got! Give them the freedom to explore their potential without your hand guiding them.
Think of professional athletes. Every day, their coaches work with them, preparing them to push themselves to the brink, in order to emerge victorious. On the day of the game, when the smell of victory is just 60 minutes away, does the coach keep preparing them? No. He gives them one last Knute Rockne speech about spirit, drive, and achievement. And he steps out of the way so his team can rush out on the field and use the skills he has honed in them.
Like the winning coach, you’ll know you’ve done a great job when your sales team members experience continued success—not just financially, but emotionally. When your people are enthusiastic, engaged, and empowered, it’s a reflection of you. Stand back and enjoy it!
Stand on the sidelines and watch your players push for the win. Step in when you need to. Give them the necessary guidance or advice. But the more you encourage their independence, the better off you’ll both be.