There are always a thousand things we feel like we need to focus on as business leaders. But one of the most important focuses you can have is to be in the leadership creation business.
What in the heck is that? Said differently, you should be focused on developing people around you to help lead your organization. That should be one of your primary focuses.
However, I have seen women who refuse to grow leaders within their organizations. As I have worked with them, supported them, and befriended them, I have learned that there are two main reasons for their adamant refusal to be in the leadership creation business.
Either they are afraid to develop leaders because they feel responsible for their business and feel as though they are abdicating responsibility if they hand anything over to someone else. Or, they feel as though they haven’t arrived and they haven’t “earned the right” to have someone help them with the heavy lifting.
Now, we are all responsible for our businesses. That’s a fact. They are our babies in a lot of ways and no doubt you remember when you left your child, if you have children (or even your fur baby), with someone else for the first time. It was scary! But we soon realized that everything was fine and while no one will ever do it quite like us, nothing bad happened. It’s the same with our businesses. Yes, we are responsible for them. But being responsible doesn’t mean that we are the only ones who can make decisions, provide direction, or do the work correctly.
I am going to challenge you to change your mindset if this is one of your fears. Part of being responsible means we are responsible for serving all of the clients who need us. Part of being responsible is also not being the rate-limiting step in the business. It’s your responsibility to teach others how to successfully support your business/clients so that you can serve more people. It’s also your responsibility to find those individuals whose gift is to be amazing in your business! They need you just as much as your clients do. So instead of seeing your business as your responsibility to keep safe and protect, shift your mindset to see it’s your responsibility to step out of your own way and allow others to help you get your gift to the world.
Beyond that, if you feel as though you “haven’t earned the right” to be in the leadership creation business. Meaning, you have to prove your worth. You are questioning if you are supposed to be at the table if your business is a viable business, or even if you feel you have to prove that you know the answers and know-how to do things within your business. Let me take that load off of your shoulders.
My dear, by having your business and serving at least a handful of clients, that act alone has proven your worth in the business world, if ever you had to prove it. You have already earned the right to be where you are, there is nothing left to prove. Be kind to yourself. You are amazing and you are doing a great job. You have earned the right to not be the answer to everything within your business. Change your mindset.
Instead of focusing on “earning the right” focus on helping others prove how amazing they are. Develop those individuals around you to make good decisions, lead with a purpose, create projects and execute on them, etc. Most of us on some level feel like we have something to prove. Help those amazing individuals you have hired accomplish something big. If you don’t, if you don’t help those around you learn, grow, and contribute, they will leave your organization.
So my challenge for you today is to change your mindset, if needed, be kind to yourself, and be in the leadership creation business.