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Leaders Cannot Be All Things To All People

A newly minted CEO met with his executive team to discuss the company's growth—one of the CEO's direct reports explained how the company could grow its market share in the next five years.

The CEO, listening very attentively, was clueless about his manager's suggestion; he wondered, "should I ask a question, but if I do ask, that will reveal my lack of knowledge, and I may appear incompetent." Many people in leadership positions believe that "not knowing" will somehow signal to their staff that the leader is somehow inept.

Some people think a leader should have a complete set of skills, characteristics, and abilities to handle any problem, challenge, or opportunity that comes along. Unfortunately, this myth of the "complete leader" can cause stress and frustration for leaders and their teams.

Leaders cannot be all things to all people; No one person could possibly stay on top of everything, and the sooner leaders stop trying to be all things to all people, the better off their organizations will be. Great leaders know that their team is the backbone of the company. Any success the organization achieves comes from its employees' love of the company, their belief in the vision, and a solid attachment to the company's purpose.

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