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(c) graham smith

Most of these “Leadership Proverbs” I’ve just picked up, absorbed and imbibed by some process of osmosis along the way and don’t know exactly whom they originated from. But when I know I’ll make reference, and when I don’t it’s not that I’m ungrateful or that I want to appear like a genius. It’s genuinely that I can’t remember. So if I’ve flogged something from you let me know and I’ll happily acknowledge it.

Get Out of the Way of Good People

We all want to work with good people. We’re all trying to fill our teams with good people. And sometimes we do get people who join us and work with us who come to the team perfect and ready to go. But most of the time people need to be trained and developed. Most of the time they start out decent and available and we develop them to be good or even great.

The trouble is once people have become good at what they do we are often the last to notice. And so we keep treating them as if they are just decent but available. And we just get in their way.

If they’re good then we need to let them do their thing.

There’s two reasons why we need to let good people go do their thing:

1)      If we have good people that we then spend time telling them exactly what to do then we waste our time. If they’re good people they’ll be able to call their own plays to achieve the goal. We could be spending that time doing other things, investing in other people. Scripting the moves for a good person is a waste of time. We should just get out of their way and let them be good people and do it their way. The goal is that the thing gets done, not that it’s done my way.

2)      The other reason to let good people do their thing is because there’s almost no faster way to demotivate someone than when a good person has someone getting in their way, micromanaging them. It’s a good way to lose someone. Good people don’t need to be motivated, they just need you to not demotivate them. So just let them do their thing and support and encourage them and get them whatever they need to do a good job.

If someone is actually good at what they do, then we should trust them to do a good job. And if we trust them then we should get out of their way and let them run. If you have genuinely good people, or even great people, then give them the goal and give them the resources and get out of their way.