Giving up the Lead

Greg Thomas
Apr 26 · 3 min read

I was rolling through Medium, then Twitter, then some podcasts one day, writing my own stuff and realizing that we’re going in this endless circle of writing about similar things with deviations between all the topics.

It made me think as to whether we had plateaued in our thinking and approaches on a variety of leadership, motivational and productivity learnings.

I stirred on this for a while as I couldn’t believe that there was nowhere else to go, nowhere else to break through, nowhere else to lead. The confusion in me hit critical when I looked at all this amazing content out there only to realize how many people aren’t consuming it, aren’t practicing it and are passing it by as drivel while they continue on doing the same old, same old wondering why nothing is working.

So is this it? Everyone pushing out content but no one consuming it and putting it into practice?

I felt this way on a coaching and leadership job I’d been doing for the past two years — it was going well, people were thankful, there were successes — but I was at the point where I didn’t think I could take it any further. I had plateaued with the group and myself at the same time. I personally did not know if there was any room for me to grow at that point (which truly shook me because why else do something if you’re not going to grow).

So I stepped back and let someone us take the lead while I adopted a supporting role in the delivery of our work.

Immediately, those feelings of plateauing drifted away as I got to see a new approach in action, I had to learn new techniques and skills from someone else, I got to observe how the team worked and instead of focusing on overall team delivery was able to focus on individual delivery and achievement.

Six months later that choice has lead me to lean into a number of different directions that has spurned more thought and direction within me, igniting new ideas within me at the same time.

It happened because I stepped away from being the leader, the one driving the climb and instead switched up the roles we were in so I could learn from different angles.

If your goal is growth, sometimes Giving up the Lead can be the way to figure out what you need to do next or see a path you never knew existed when you were leading everyone. It’s a different perspective and you shouldn’t eschew it simply because you’ve surpassed it, you should embrace it because you might have missed something that could take you into a completely different direction.

Want more? I run BetaRover Inc, muse on The Sniffing Markers Podcast and purge all my thoughts on — have a peek, read or listen.

Greg Thomas

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I take the complex problems- software development, leadership, team growth- and make it simple.