Let it Go

“Just the very act of letting go of money, or some other treasure, does something within us. It destroys the demon ‘greed.'” – Richard Foster

Letting go is hard. As leaders, we can be greedy, struggling to let go of the intangibles that we believe define who we are or the importance of what we do.

  • Decisions – We resist delegating decision-making or trusting others to make decisions for us.
  • Job Duties and Responsibilities – We hoard all the work because it makes us look like the hardest worker. We don’t trust others to do the work because we’re afraid it might not get done correctly.
  • Title and Authority – We hang on to our titles because we believe they define who we are. We find safety and order in them.
  • Influence – We resist giving our influence away or developing the influence of others because we like being admired, needed, or important.

Yet, what would happen if we let these things go?

  • Decisions – We let others learn how we make decisions, then we let them make the decisions. We’re freed up to focus on bigger things, and they’re able to move faster and accomplish more.
  • Job Duties and Responsibilities – The people around us grow by taking on some of our work. We grow by letting go of what we were holding on to and taking hold of the future.
  • Title and Authority – We create an environment where leadership and influence exist without a title. Your team follows you because they respect you and love to serve you, not because your title dictates their unquestionable compliance.
  • Influence –  You develop leaders who are more influential and successful than yourself, which contrary to some beliefs, doesn’t dilute your leadership. It makes you a leader who develops other leaders. What better legacy to leave in business than that?

What are you hanging on to that you need to let go?

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  • Linda, thanks for reminding us that we need to “let go.”

    I remember a talk Andy Stanley gave a couple years ago at the Catalyst Conference where he said, “Only do what only you can do.” One of his arguments about why leaders should only do what only they can do was that it creates room for other leaders to step-up and fill the gap. When a leader sticks to a small area of work it provides opportunities for younger and less experienced leaders in the organization to test their skills and to shine.

    Thanks for sharing this post and reminding us to “let it go.” 🙂

    • Linda Sasser says:

      Thanks for your comments Christopher. I love Andy’s teachings!

      This is one of those subjects that is easier to discuss than it is to apply. A major issue for the CEO trying to keep control to an emerging leader trying to prove themselves.

      Thanks for sharing CS!