I was talking with a CEO of a large, highly technical company about one of his executives. I commented that I was impressed with how Debbie (not her real name) was leading her team. The CEO replied, "It's because she knows the secret."
He explained, "Debbie allows her team to be brilliant. She realizes that her team is comprised of highly technical individuals who possess a wealth of knowledge. In other words, Debbie does not have to be the smartest person in the room when leading her team."
So many times, we as leaders feel that we must have all of the answers, and we seek to find our value in our intelligence and competency. Consequently, we are threatened when someone challenges our position, and we tend to squelch any answers that don't align with our thought process.
This type of leadership is founded on insecurity and results in a team that is disengaged and under-achieving. When we have to demonstrate our leadership through solving every problem, we set ourselves up to play the unhealthy role of "rescuer" for our team.
Debbie understands the power of allowing her team to be smarter than her and valuing their input and creativity. The result is a high-functioning team where leaders are developed and loyalty is grown. Remember the secret of allowing others to be brilliant, and you will make a difference!