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What defines great leaders? They get out of the way

Great leaders are those who are respected and have a well thought out strategy, but often, the defining characteristic is knowing when to get out of the way.

office leadership

office leadership

What makes a great leader?

The defining qualities of a good boss can vary depending on who you ask. Some may say a good boss is someone who is relaxed, and others may say someone who is easy to talk to. But more important than either of these traits, is the discernment that great leaders have for knowing when to get out of the way. You may think a leader needs to always make their presence known and look over the shoulders of their staff, but a great boss knows that in order to lead, sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back.

Strategy when building the team

A good boss is able to get out of the way because they staff their team with members who don’t need to be handheld through every process. There is no benefit of having multiple employees if the boss can’t have peace of mind that he or she can delegate tasks and be certain that they will be taken care of on time and at acceptable standards.

Therefore, a great boss takes the time to contemplate what each member brings to the table and assigns them to certain areas accordingly, thereby freeing up that time to focus on other aspects of the business.

Not being afraid of failure

Many people who tend to micro-manage do so because they’re afraid of failure. A great boss knows that they only way for employees to learn the ins-and-outs of business is to give them the freedom to try things on their own and learn from the results. It’s great to want to ensure that business runs smoothly but sometimes minor hiccups are necessary in order for your staff to grow professionally and discover things for themselves.

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They are in tune with their business

The greatest bosses are the ones who have spent a substantial amount of time in each area of the business or division and know what it takes to be successful at it. Staff members respect leaders more if they know that the task they’ve been asked to do is something the boss has had to do at one time as well. It shows that the boss has realistic expectations and this builds a sense of connection.

Great bosses are so in sync with all aspects of their business and know firsthand how things should be in order to reach corporate goals that they’re able to get out of the way and monitor performance periodically. They know enough about the business that they can, in a sense, just let it run – but also be experienced enough to step in and do any job that needs be completed.

The takeaway

Micro-managing doesn’t win any awards with employees and is a huge annoyance. The best leaders are the ones who educate their staff, equip them with the tools to successfully do their job and then step back to let them do what they do best.

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Destiny Bennett is a journalist who has earned double communications' degrees in Journalism and Public Relations, as well as a certification in Business from The University of Texas at Austin. She has written stories for AustinWoman Magazine as well as various University of Texas publications and enjoys the art of telling a story. Her interests include finance, technology, social media...and watching HGTV religiously.

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