As I wrote in the first part of this series, I had to split my AMA session into several blog posts. Not because I had that many questions, but the few ones deserved sincere answers. Preventing a humongous dimension which would block most people from reading on, I decided this way. This is the second question:
What is your greatest fear as a leader?Rafael Ribeiro (Agile Coach/Scrum Master at Adidas)
This one was “easy”. I actually have one big fear concerning my teams and my people.
Let me quote Robert Greenleaf on Servant Leadership:
“The servant–leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.”Robert K. Greenleaf
To be a servant first means that you will take as your mission to enrich your people’s lives, to build better organizations, to build communities…
I strongly believe that the biggest task of a leader is to generate more leaders. Sure, you will not forget the actual job that has to be done nor the company’s goals.
This does not mean that you lose “the boss factor”. Instead you will promote a culture of participation. Rui Alves, the CEO of RUPEAL Group (and my boss), talks a bit about it in this video (in portuguese only). People will take initiative, they will be empowered to promote solutions and to take action. They will GROW !
As Rui stated in his video, probably you will know the solution to the problem and that would be the faster path but, remember, you want your people to grow, to be better professionals, to be better humans….to create more leaders. People does not learn how to lead if they do not have the opportunity to think, to search solutions, to tinker the solution, and yes, to crash and burn. Let them fail when it does not jeopardize the entire company. It will be a teaching. Do not take it into account in the performance review. Instead, review his attempt and if he really learned anything with it.
When I started in my previous job, I came very solution’s driven, I mean, when in a meeting with the team on some technical problem, I used to propose solutions before listening the team.
As I was learning more and more about servant leadership, I started listening more, and asking more and better questions. It immediately paid-off. My previous team started to bring better solutions to the discussion table and in the long run, one of them started to present some leadership potential. When I left, I felt that every single one of them had grown into a better version of them as professionals, and hopefully, a better version of themselves as humans.
Nowadays, that is my main goal. To help my people to grow a better version of themselves – professional and personal.
My biggest fear is to lose that capacity of helping them to see and find their better version.