Laurie Swanson Blog

What Leadership Isn't

I really like to lead events.

It’s something I’ve enjoyed since running a Ronald McDonald House carnival at 10 years old.

I consider being able to lead events one of my super powers.

  • Being able to take an idea for a fun event and make it happen.
  • Being able to recognize others people’s skills and gifts and put them to good use on a project.
  • Infusing fun and low stress during a project.

I have worked through drama when a key sponsor dropped out of a project with no notice…without missing a beat.

I have worked through a harassment charge of a team member by another team member addressing it promptly to everyone’s satisfaction.

I have solved printing problems, team conflicts and missed deadlines with ease and grace.

I always felt that, even with the challenges, the project was successful and all concerned were more than satisfied.

How do I get rid of the hiccups?

The event I am currently involved in is not going as smoothly as projects in the past.   

The project is having some hiccups.

I find I am second guessing myself.

I wonder if I misunderstood things in communication.

Was I taking over? Was I not collaborating?

I have allowed some things to move forward against my better instincts with negative results.

I was having a hard time figuring out why things were not going smoothly.

Then, during a larger conversation, I heard the co-lead say something that turned my lightbulb on:

 “I am sorry. I am used to figuring out what needs to be done and then having other people do it.”

Ah-Ha Moment about Leadership

This person’s super power was as a DELEGATOR.

Being a good delegator is important if you are going to move from doing to leading, but it does not necessarily mean that because you are delegating that you are also leading.

If you are a leader there is an idea that when you say jump your team says how high.

To be a great leader you need to communicate what needs to get done in a way that engages and excites the team members.

A great leader needs to create a space where your team members feel that the environment is safe to stretch their abilities without fear and that their unique qualities are valued and included.

Then they will go the extra mile for you.

Even if not every task you are asking them to do is appealing, they will do it exceptionally.

Once I realized this fact everything changed on the project for me.  

I am now able to see how to best work with this person’s strengths of delegating to help the higher purpose of having a kickass event.

I also no longer stay silent.  I am using my strong, instinctual, event management leadership super power once again.

I stopped second guessing and started being the leader the team needs.

And…no surprise…I am more relaxed and having fun again.

I suspect the team is too.

Try This:

3 things to consider as a leader before you delegate:

  1. What else does the person have on their plate? Are you overloading them?
  2. Does the person you are delegating to have the tools, training and support to do what is asked successfully?
  3. Have you thought about each member of your team-their strengths, likes, dislikes, growth edge-before deciding to whom to delegate?

Ready to bring out your inner leader. Let’s talk.

Laurie Swanson, Career Strategist

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