Making myself redundant - how I approach leadership
I always liked - and still like - to built. Concepts, things, teams. Especially teams.
|Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash
Growing a team out of a group of individuals is the baseline to make concepts come true and build things beyond my own skills.
When I started leading teams, I was young, with no leadership experience and without any leadership training. I asked myself - how would I like my manager to be from a behavioral context? What would I find supportive? And then implemented this concept step by step. Just to figure out - wait, this is not suiting everyone - I was overly demanding to some and overly managing to others. It was all just based upon my very own demands. So step by step, discussion after discussion, feedback after feedback I developed my style (and over the years found parts of it in leadership theories which are linked below).
So where is the team aspect now?
Different people different needs. Accept your team is built of individuals and foster those individual hard and soft skills are known to each other. Creating a sense of self-reflection for the individuals, trust into the team and then serve with time to share this information frequently. Encourage and foster to peer individuals. Connect dots, guide within the team to find support - it is the team having the answers, not the leader. And the one thing I embrace for myself - speak openly about what you may be good in but really do not like to do. This may not at all prevent from doing it - but that context is so valuable - maybe your team sees someone who would love that part but would need some training. See the dots?
And what if it does not work?
All of the above is certainly not the answer to make everyone work perfectly in every team. The role may not fit, the comfort zone may not be challenged enough - or too much, circumstances & life situations may change.
The best way is to feedback this. Get insights of the why and develop a joint approach of either learn and grow, adapt the team role if in best interest of the team and the individual - or find a better spot outside the team for the individual. To support and foster a joint approach with clear expectations and open exchange will strengthen the team and assist the individual to find a healthier an happier spot to work in. Serve. Not dictate.
Where is the own redundancy then?
In best case, I develop a team, who does not require any hierarchical leader anymore. That is the point in time, where I make myself redundant as a leader. But still, the team servant role, the fostering person, will be there. Inside the team. Not on top of it.
Belbin - The Nine Belbin Team Roles
Self-Reflection - The Big Five - Personality Test
Agile Alliance - Scrum Master