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5 Keys to Attracting Leaders Who Are Better Than You Are

So you probably wish you had some better leaders on your team.

Want to know what the very best leaders do?

They figure out how to construct a team with leaders who are not just better leaders, they assemble a team with leaders who are better than they are.

That’s a big deal.

If you truly want to have the best team, that means you need to figure out how to attract and develop:

Communicators who are more gifted than you are.

Team members who are smarter than you are.

Leaders who are more connected than you are.

Strategists who are more strategic than you are.

Small-minded leaders want to be the star of the show. The best leaders let other leaders be the star.

They’re not only not threatened by that—they encourage it.

The question is how do you do that?

After all, if you build a team of all-stars, everybody else could be working somewhere else and be making a huge impact there.

World-class leaders don't just build teams with better leaders. They create teams with leaders who are better than they are. Click To Tweet

1. Deal with your insecurities

Insecure leaders will always feel threatened by people they think are ‘better’ than they are.

Get counselling. Get coaching. Do what you need to do.

And think about this: Leaders who can build a great team always have a higher value to an organization than leaders who want to be the greatest on the team.

Don’t cap your organization’s growth or mission because you’re insecure. Push others into the spotlight.

Leaders who can build a great team always have a higher value to an organization than leaders who want to be the greatest on the team. Click To Tweet

2. Give away responsibilities, not just tasks

If you want to repel high-capacity leaders, give them tasks, not responsibilities.

When you trust your team, it ushers in the opportunity for greatness.

If everything has to cross your desk, you will only ever lead a small organization (because your desk isn’t that big).

You’ll have a hard time delegating responsibilities—not tasks— if you’re

Fearful

Controlling

Insecure

Egotistical

Unclear

Want to get started on handing off more responsibility?

Make fewer decisions this month.  And hire and recruit people who make better decisions than you do.

If you want to repel high-capacity leaders, give them tasks, not responsibilities. Click To Tweet

3. Share the spotlight

If you have to be front and center all the time, you create a whole host of problems, chief of which is that you’ll demotivate your team because you steal all the airtime, the attention or the credit.

Smart leaders will leave or never join your team in the first place.

Pushing other people into the spotlight is the hallmark of great leadership.

There’s a weird irony here.

Leaders who hog the spotlight often do it because they want to be known. But you can (ironically) become well known and respected because you give away the spotlight.

Case in point.

I host a leadership podcast on which I interview some of the top people in leadership today.

It can be hard when you’re interviewing guests to not jump in and offer your own insights. But I made it a rule of thumb early on that I would try to be quiet and let the guest talk 90-95% of the time (sometimes I make an episode a roundtable, but most episodes, I follow this rule).

So when I’m on my game, I say very little. Other than to occasionally make a comment or ask the next question. I really want the guest and the listener to be the heroes.

Here’s the surprise: the thing I’ve probably become best known for is my podcast where I hardly talk during an interview.

Pushing other people into the spotlight is the hallmark of great leadership. Click To Tweet

4. Make it your job to help others succeed

Sometimes the best way to win is to stop trying to help yourself succeed and start spending your time trying to help other people succeed.

The longer I’ve led, the more I realize that as a leader, I have a very small lane in which to exercise my gifts, and mostly my job is to clarify the mission, vision and strategy and clear obstacles for everyone else.

In other words, I’m not focused on me…but rather on something bigger than me (the mission) and on the team, trying to make sure they soar.

Worried you might lose out on what you want in the process?

As Zig Ziglar said, if you help enough people get what they want, you’ll eventually get what you want.

Helping others succeed will ultimately be your greatest success.

Helping others succeed will ultimately be your greatest success. Click To Tweet

5. Create a culture of freedom

For years I struggled with control as a leader.

Then I realized that as much as I hate being controlled, so do almost all real leaders.

So I motivate myself with this thought: If you want great leaders to flee your organization, control them. They’ll leave.

If you want to attract great leaders, release them with a clear mission, vision, and strategy (and give them input to shape it). As long as you micromanage everything, you will only have do-ers in your organization, not leaders.

Enough said.

If you want great leaders to flee your organization, control them. They’ll leave. Click To Tweet

What Do You Think?

What insights would you add?  Any struggles when it comes to attracting high capacity leaders?

5 Keys to Attracting Leaders Who Are Better Than You Are

4 Comments

  1. Michael Viera on May 9, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    Carey,

    Just wanted to thank you for sharing this insight with us, as a student who is getting ready to head into ministry, I’m realizing that there are lessons that need to constantly be learned. Acknowledging my insecurities and allowing myself to grow within the team that I build so that the church will thrive is a lesson that I don’t hear often. So thank you for sharing this.

  2. Wefbee on March 19, 2020 at 2:10 am

    I freaking loved the second point. You wanna grow let them also grow. One should definitely pick the right person as a leader to let your company grow exponentially. And of-course you’re the driver of your vehicle!

    • Carey Nieuwhof on March 20, 2020 at 12:01 pm

      So glad you liked it. 🙂

  3. Oded Shoshani on March 13, 2020 at 10:49 am

    I liked the 5 keys.
    I’m a pastor from Jerusalem, Israel.

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