When Your Team Knows More Than You
What to do when your team is better than you!
Leaders often have individuals working with them who know more than the leader does. This is part of being a leader when you have responsibility for areas outside your specialty or expertise where your reports know more than you do. They will ask questions that you cannot answer and may not even understand.
So what do you do?
Firstly, you don’t want to become an expert in all these areas – in doing that you are looking to improve your weaknesses rather than leveraging your strengths. You are also undermining your own position, that as a leader without expertise.
You want to focus on building and leveraging the relationships you have with your team, it is not about being an expert in the facts. Spend time with your people, get to know them, and understand what motivates them and how to work with them effectively.
Secondly, as a leader, you provide value not by doing the work of an expert, but by enabling things to happen. Your role is to get the roadblocks out of their way so they can be successful. In doing this you also need to take a more strategic overview and approach, rather than being tactical and hands-on.
Here you are a leader – leading people and change, sharing and inspiring confidence even when you don’t have the answers or know the answers. Your role as a leader is to bring out the best in others, even when they know more than you.
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