When we are experienced at something we think we have all the answers or at least, that we should have all the answers. We plough on with what we think is right until a confident someone says, “erm, do you think that maybe that’s 6 instead of 5?” and we realise we’ve ‘missed it’.
For a moment in time, we’ve lost that certain something that made us a leader in the first place. We’ve forgotten to look to our left and to our right and we’re hurtling down the road because the to-do list needs to get done.
You might call it humility, or self-awareness or inclusive decision making. It’s probably all three. When we’re experienced we need to remember that…
1. Inexperienced people may not have the knowledge of the subject that we do, but they may have the best idea in the room, and their fresh eyes may bring a new perspective
2. Draw in the quiet and inexperienced voices to give them an opportunity to contribute and/or learn. It builds their trust in you whilst you mentor and nurture them
3. Drawing in ideas from others doesn’t make leaders appear weak and incompetent, it makes them appear inclusive, solution focussed, humble and trustworthy
We can’t all get it right all of the time, especially when normal really isn’t normal at all, where there is high stress and uncertainty and people are tired and worn out. So, lean on colleagues and spread the risk. Draw strength from your team and build solutions, make decisions and come up with answers together.