Wednesday, January 19, 2011
The Indispensable Leader
The Steve Jobs' leave if absence raises some interesting questions about leadership. When an employee joins an organization at the entry level, he or she often wants to make themselves indispensable to the firm. After all, the more crucial your role, the more job security... Or so goes the conventional wisdom. At this point, you are an individual performer, not a manager. As you rise in the organization, it still feels as though you are evaluated based on how indispensable you are. People often worry about delegating too much, because they fear that others will realize "they aren't really needed" around here. However, at some point, great firms hold leaders accountable for building a leadership bench and an organization that can thrive without them. The challenge, though, is how you make this transition in your career from those early days as an individual performer who hopes to be indispensable to the leader who strives for sustainability. It's a tricky transition, with no recipe for how to get it done well.