There is a strange social phenomena that makes us believe that leaders always have the answers to our problems.
Yet, when you really think about this, it is just plain dumb. How can leaders be expected to have all the answers? Sure, they have plenty of ideas, some good, some not so good. But so do the rest of us.
Many of us have felt anxious about being in leadership roles just because there is this expectation that we will have the solutions. It may well be true that at lower levels of leadership, such as a team leader, we do indeed have the solutions for many of the problems that our teams encounter. Think though of higher levels of leadership.
How can we realistically expect a general manager or chief executive to have all the answers, when their experience base is normally limited to just one of the many areas that their staff are now responsible for? It plainly can't work.
Perhaps, though, there is another way to look at this, and in particular, the role of the leader.
Maybe we should see the leader as the person who creates the environment for ideas to emerge from the team, and the person who is savvy about the processes that connect the mix of ideas into a solution.
Surely that's a better way of think about what leaders do to add value to the work of those around them?
On our Leadership 101 Workshop we show you some of the idea-generating and decision making process that successful leaders use. They are simple, easy to understand, and they work.