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Leading in a Crisis - Practice Two

Enlist the Help of Others

Practice Two for the leader is to enlist the help of others. You and I are not Atlas. Neither are we Wonder Woman or Superman. John Maxwell asserted, "One is too small a number to achieve greatness. You cannot do anything of real value alone". Teamwork is at the heart of great achievement.

When the team is working effectively, the focus is on solutions--not egos or politics. This requires having the right people in the right roles doing the right things. True leadership is not about a position. It is being able to influence others to accomplish great things. These influencers (leaders) are needed throughout the organization.

Insist on diverse perspectives. Learn the views from the rank and file, mid-level managers, and senior executives. Query external stakeholders (customers, consultants, creditors, alliances, etc.) for their input. The probability of success increases dramatically when multiple people are working towards the same goal. Of course, there needs to be a process to filter the information to embrace the good and discard the bad. There will be mistakes along the way. No plan is 100% foolproof. Enable others to take informed risks and adjust as necessary.

Leaders need the help of others. This is not a sign of vulnerability. It is a fact that humble leaders embody. They know they will also make mistakes. Egon Zehnder said, "Listen to what your colleagues have to say. They know more than you do. Have the humility to step back and correct yourself." Exceptional leaders recognize they cannot do it alone. Enlist the help of others.

Your candid feedback is both welcomed and appreciated. Please share your thoughts on Practice Two. At Apogee, we work with entities to strengthen their pipeline of leaders. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, we specialize in helping others lead through change and we offer premier leadership training programs and experiences. Find out more at

That's it for now. Until the next time...

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How about when others overstep their boundaries after clearly stating everybody's role? When I mention it to them that with we need rules and regulations, their immediate response is let’s not do that.

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