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Why does it have to be you?

Why does it have to be you?

Nicola Hopes

9 November 2021

Let me just say for the record – I know you’re fabulous. I know you’re uniquely skilled to do what you do, and they’d be lost without you… 

(Yes, you guessed it, there’s a ‘but’ coming) 

…but…what makes you think it’s all down to you? 

Heard in a coaching conversation only last week: 

    Client: I’m not sure what we should do about x?  

    Me: What are others doing about it? 

    Client: It’s been crazy busy; I haven’t had time to look into it. I’ve had an HBR article bookmarked for 3 weeks on this. It’s draining! 

    Me: Does it have to be you who looks into it? What do the team think? 

    Client: Not sure. They’re looking to me to solve it. 

    Me: Are they? Really?

Talk about carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders… I got tired just listening. 

Don’t get me wrong: it’s well intended. It’s worthy.  

But it’s not necessary.  

If you’re telling yourself that without you the whole damn house of cards would fall down, you’re setting yourself up to fail. 

And if you’re falling into this trap, you’re probably slowing your team down too. 

The changing face of leadership 

The best leaders right now are listening to others. It’s that simple. 

They have the best questions, not the best answers.  

And they’re empowering like they’ve never empowered before.  

If you need any more convincing here are some reasons why: 

  • This autumn is proving to be one of the busiest I’ve seen – the quickening pace of progress and the demand for results is relentless. And (spoiler alert) it’s not letting up anytime soon. 
  • The landscape is changing rapidly – if you think you know how the next year will play out (I’d never call you a liar but) are you sure? 
  • Others will have more time or expertise – to do research; to listen to what your customers need; or to bring people together and find new ideas.  

You just have to be the one to enable others to be great and you’ll succeed together. 

I’m reminded of the quote attributed to Lao Tzu:  

“To lead people, walk behind them.” 

So, what are you going to put down, for good, today?

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