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Your Job Is Not To Make Sure Your People Succeed

As a leader, it is not your job to make sure your people succeed.

Why not?

Because your job is to get results, through the people on your team and the influence you have in the organization.

You can't actually control someone else's output or success. 

Believing that you can will tie you up in knots. You will put pressure on yourself when the responsibility for output is actually on your team member.

Of course, you can create the conditions for them to succeed. And there's no end to how well you can do this. It's a fundamental skill of leadership.

But once you do that, their performance is not in your hands. You can breathe a sigh of relief.

In fact, if you don't let go of the idea that you must help someone succeed no matter how much they're struggling, you will drown.

You will be sucked under by the desire to "help" them when maybe they need a different role or even a different company instead. As you're trying to help them succeed, you're failing to hold the vision for you team. Doing this not only allows lower standards to be accepted, it shows that they get special attention from the boss.

So why do so many leaders get caught up in the performance of their people? 

It's because, as humans, we want to be liked.

It's a natural thing, wanting people to like you. But leading is not natural.

As a leader your job is to hold people accountable to clear results and give them honest and balanced feedback about their performance.

That's how you can have hard conversations and not lose sleep over it. Because the alternative is to lose sleep due to you overworking to compensate for an underperforming team.

Not everyone is a fit for every role. Once you've done your part to set the vision, and clarify roles, success metrics,  and expectations, you can let your team be the adults they are.

That's when the real magic begins.

If you want to collaborate on how to handle underperforming team members—especially if you've been making it your job to ensure they succeed and you want to stop—I'm currently taking on one-to-one clients. Book your free strategy session here:

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