The most important lesson new leaders must learn is that it is no longer about them. A leader’s role is more like that of a teacher whose job it is to help people learn and grow, not catch them doing something wrong.
Occasionally one does find someone doing something wrong but that says more about the quality of our leadership than about the capabilities of our people. The response must not be to come down hard on them rather to give them more positive attention and affirmation. On the rare occasions where an individual’s behavior is unacceptable, deal with it quickly, efficiently, privately, and with emotional detachment.
A leader’s job is not to show others how smart they are rather to help people learn how smart each of them can be. It is to give them ongoing feedback to help them optimize their talents and abilities, to remove obstacles, and to have their back.
If a leader wants a more effective organization and better performance from his or her staff the solution is to be a better leader.
Ultimately, a leader’s work must be judged by the success of their people and organization.