Leadership: Encouraging Self Expression.

I was going through an article that talks about managing both your work and life, not losing yourself in a bid to handle both. A particular part of the article really caught my attention, it talks about being a leader in an organization, managing your time and your people. Establishing that as a leader, “24-hour availability can actually hamper initiative in an organization”, which i absolutely agree with. Leaders cannot always be available for their employer, trainee or mentee. In the course of the article I saw this quote that interests me. This got me thinking and i asked myself what do i think about it? The quote says

“ If you have weak people who must ask your advice all the time, you feel important. But there is a difference between being truly important and just not letting anyone around you do anything without you.”

Thinking about it, the place of feeling important is a self derived joy from impacting a life. You have contributed to this person’s success, so it is okay to feel important. Its then a problem if you make every decision to accomplishing the set goals. You deprive such person of expressing himself. From the person’s point of view, there is a sense of fulfillment when the goal is achieved alongside a sense of emptiness because he knows most of the decisions made are not his.

Inadvertently you are not only making him totally dependent on you but also not allowing him to stretch himself in terms of thinking or taking responsibility, he may eventually figure out a better way, even though it will take more time. But then, i have a question. Do you shut such people up from seeking your advice or turn them down whenever they do? Or act up throwing it to their face that they are weak?

I believe in such situation the best thing to do is train the person to be independent of you. You cannot always be available. Build a stronger person out of his weakness. It may take a longer period of time to accomplish the goal but eventually both parties are happy. You can never be always available. This helps the leader, the follower and the organization at large.