A newly minted CEO held a meeting with his executive team to talk about the company's growth. One of the CEO’s direct reports suggested that the company could grow its market share. 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. However, leaders cannot be all things to all people; they don’t need to know everything; they can’t; that’s fundamentally why leaders build great teams with the expertise to help the organization fulfill its purpose and achieve its vision.
According to Christine Cain, to build a strong team, you must see someone else's strength as a complement to your weakness, not a threat to your position or authority.