Are You Failing as a Leader?

Entrepreneurial Leadership – Are you the Lid to Your Organization?

Entrepreneurial Leadership - Are you the lid to your organization?

I love canning. I have learned some value lessons about canning and jar lids. Lids are important in preserving, containing and protecting.

I have made mistakes over the years with my canning!

  1. Over fill a jar and the pressure in the jar is too great and the jar breaks.
  2. Under fill a jar and the end product can turn brown and nasty.
  3. Is the lid imperfect? This will cause the product to spoil.

What kind of lid are you as a leader in your organization? Are you failing as a leader?

If you are concerned about failing as a leader, look for these three clues. Check to see, if as the lid to your organization, does your leadership style encourage growth or limit it?

  • Too much pressure? You don’t want to put too much pressure on your team, they may just walk away to find a better balance in their lives.
  • Too little pressure? You don’t want to treat them with kid gloves though and not give them the responsibility and the pressure to learn and grow.
  • Spoil the whole lot? Your leadership lid has the potential to spoil your team and bring your team to a halt.

When it comes to entrepreneurial leadership, it is critical to get this right. You are failing as a leader if you are the bottleneck in getting things done! If you are the bottleneck, then find the jar opener and get that lid unstuck! Go grab one now! 

Here are some organizational lids that are clues you may be failing as a leader. How are the people in your group being impacted by “lids” around them?

Does Everything Go Through You, First?

Perhaps a team member has an idea that would take just a few minutes to test. Still, that team member has to turn to you for approval before moving forward. In this way – and many others – the lid limits the individual or team from not just moving an idea forward, but often from even vocalizing that idea. This limits your ability to gain outstanding insight from your team.

Do You Have Lids Throughout Your Organization?

Look around. What types of limits are in place? For example, it’s not uncommon for people to do things a certain way to avoid angering someone else. For example, instead of modernizing a method of management, you keep things the same to avoid stressing out your team. There may be people in the organization that others don’t talk to because they don’t want to risk embarrassment – that could limit conversation flow.

Are Your Lids Minimizing Failure

There are numerous other examples of what lids are doing within your organization. However, put that aside for a moment and concentrate on what the impact is. When we lid something like this, we limit it. But, why are we doing that in the first place?

It’s simple. Not having a stopgap means there’s more risk of failure. It’s a measure of control you may have over those in the organization.

Maximize our Failures

Maximizing our failures though can be a powerful tool! Amy Edmondson, Professor, Harvard Business School, says:

Only leaders can create and reinforce a culture that counteracts the blame game and makes people feel both comfortable with and responsible for surfacing and learning from failures.

For example, imagine if your team could move freely to bring up ideas and share thoughts and concerns. They may be more willing to provide insight to you about what’s happening from their perspective. By empowering them to test the water and learn more about these ideas, you gain more insight that can help to shape your organization.

Fear of Failure

Many times, we keep lids in place in our organizations because we fear failure. What if it just does not work? What if someone leaves? The key here is not to be afraid of what you don’t know, but to pursue opportunities that can advance your company beyond this point. When you take the time to pinpoint, address, and overcome these limitations, your team can flourish because your leadership is more comprehensive and full.

Do you need some simple tips to build anticipation in your business? In this post Three Steps to Building Anticipation in Your BusinessI teach about building anticipation and engaging others.

Here’s an important quote to keep in mind:

“The essence of man is imperfection. Know that you’re going to make mistakes. The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does. Wake up and realize this: Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success.” – John Maxwell