We need to get away from the idea that as a CEO or senior leader developing your team that you need to be seen as some kind of faultless hero figure that makes all the best decisions and that everyone looks up to.
You may, in the early stages of team development need to be the “Campaigning Leader”; out in front, selling the vision, showing the way, and getting the team’s buy-in – but your objective should be to become a leader among leaders.
You may need, once the team has been together for a while, to be the “Facilitating Leader”, refereeing decisions, reconciling differences, and integrating diverging opinions when conflicts arise – but your objective should be to become a leader among leaders.
You may need to be, at some stage, the “Coaching Leader”; on the sidelines, sharing your experience, encouraging and energising as the team starts to align – but your objective should be to become a leader among leaders.
You may, as the team becomes fully focussed on achieving the vision, need to become the “Empowering Leader”; enabling others to run with the banner, allowing them to make decisions in the name of the team – but your objective should be to become a leader among leader.
Don’t build a team “below you”, with you on a kind of pedestal and team members following in your footsteps.
Don’t build a team around you, with you as the centre of attraction and team members sacrificing themselves for you.
Build a team beside you, with team members walking beside you; empowered, aligned & engaged, and willing to challenge your decisions and ask the questions you do not want to hear.
Regardless of the organisational chart and people’s position in the organisation, nothing is stopping you to create a team of “besiders”.
There are few specific techniques or methods required; however, it does require a “collective” attitude.
If your attitude is that you are the brilliant & intelligent hero that the organisation (political, business, charitable, …) has chosen to “turn a losing battle into victory” then you have quite possibly got it all horribly wrong.
If on the other hand, you have the attitude that your job is to unite and empower all those brilliant & intelligent team members into “the winning team”, then you may well be on to something.
Don’t follow in my footsteps, walk beside me.