John Craig said, “No matter how much work you can do, no matter how engaging your personality may be, you will not advance far in business if you cannot work through others.”
I believe the number one challenge for entrepreneurs as well as leaders trying to grow their businesses to the next level is their ability to let go of being “the one” who makes things happen. Most of us have grown our careers by being good at getting things done. Leading, however, involves getting things done with and through others.
Getting things done and getting things done through others are two very different mindsets.
What makes transitioning from getting things done ourselves to getting things done through others so challenging? Here are some mindsets that we should purge in order to overcome our difficulties in working through others:
- The belief that you are the only one who can do it right
- “It’s quicker if I just do it myself.”
- Finding satisfaction in being a workaholic
- Perfection demanded
- Not tolerating mistakes from others
- How much I do determines my worth
- Leading everybody, being the boss of followers
- Scoreboard is in the “doing”
- “I love closing the deals.”
On the other hand, we should adopt the following mindsets in an effort to work through others:
- Make it safe for employees to learn and grow. Teach and mentor.
- Sustainability over quick-ability; re-create yourself through others
- Finding satisfaction in being a leadaholic
- Perfection inspired
- Mistakes are acceptable if we use them as teaching moments
- How much I grow others’ talents determine my worth
- Leading leaders, inspiring everybody
- Scoreboard is in “leading” others to do
- “I love seeing my team close the deals.”
As you can see, the mindsets we need to purge are all about us, our own performance, and our own satisfaction. The mindsets we should adopt, on the other hand, are about growing and developing others and getting results as a team, which I find far more satisfying.
When we hang on to being “the one” who makes things happen, we continue to add to the business’s growth. However, when we work with and through others, we multiply the business’s growth and the number of people who make a direct impact on the success of the business. Which would you rather have?