“Management is doing things right;

leadership is doing the right things” 

Peter F. Drucker


Image via Shutterstock

We probably all know that CEO means Chief Executive Officer.

Well, we believe we should be thinking more in terms of Chief ENABLING Officer. This is the new take on being a CEO – one that is most needed for the future.

There’s nothing new about it really; leadership was always about enabling others to do a great job. The difference lies in our awareness. Not all leaders think of themselves as enablers – and as a result they may not be as enabling as they could. And this is true for all leaders, whether they are:

  • an up-and-coming leader
  • a tenured leader
  • the CEO
  • in any of the layers of middle management
  • a project leader
  • an informal leader who role models leadership behaviours

If you are a leader, formal or informal, it’s your job to ENABLE others to do a great job.

OK, you may say – but how?

Well, there are many ways to enable, but how about this as a start:

  • Make sure team members have the resources they need to do their jobs (eg. Technical equipment, working space, adequate time etc)
  • Remove obstacles (eg. Build relationships with other teams/departments so that your team members can get help and collaboration when and where they need it)
  • Allow people to do the job the best way they can (eg. See people’s unique strengths and help them to use them and develop them, to play to those strengths.
  • Encourage and prompt team members to collaborate with each other, recognising that people can achieve more together than they can do on their own.
  • Share information and encourage others to do the same
  • Encourage innovation, involve people to contribute through their skills, experience and knowing – getting creative and being ok with it.
  • Allow for mistakes, know that progress requires taking risks, let people try things out to adjust and adapt solutions for the future.
  • Coach people to learn from the mistakes, finding the learning and new solutions they bring. Let people try new things as part of their ongoing development.

The best leaders don’t create followers, they create new leaders. By enabling another person, you help them grow into the best person they can be. And it feels great.
Who will you enable today?

About the authors

Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”.

Their latest book, multi-award-winning ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions”, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book at www.leadingteamsbook.com

Praise for ”Leading Teams: ” Leadership is about effective conversations. This book is a very useful ready reckoner for leaders, everywhere, seeking the words and methods needed each day at work.

Sanjay Gupta, CEO, English Helper Inc

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