People in positions to lead hinder themselves and others by having too many answers and not enough questions. In fact, truly bad decisions are made by those who fail to question or probe what is really going on. This is a very common problem, generally caused by being overconfident, apathetic, or uninformed about leadership. While it may take some doing, maturing your leadership by shedding any remnants of an authoritarian style is worthwhile. Let go of any need to be the authority figure and you will discover and benefit from the talent and opportunities that surround you every day. To practice, prepare answers to the following self-coaching questions:
a. Are my people more autonomous or more dependent on me as time goes by?
b. Is my priority as a leader to be more of an authority or a learner?
c. If asking, listening, and observing (vs. talking and telling) could help me lead more effectively, what do I need to change in my own behavior?
David Peck Executive Coach and President Leadership Unleashed Palm Springs, Calif.