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Apr 05, 2010 | Post by: regangossett 1 Comments

The Smartest Boys and Girls In Class

Reading time: 34 seconds

You’re really good at coming up with great answers to questions and great solutions to problems.  I know that’s true because you couldn’t be where you are without being really good at providing elegant and effective answers and solutions. You really are the smartest boy or girl in class.

And that can be limiting for your organization.

Think about this:  If your company is limited to what you can think of, the lid of possibilities is clamped down really tight.

Being the greatest leader you can be means creating the greatest, most engaged followers you can create so that they contribute at their highest level.  Said another way, your job is to bring out the best – the greatness – in others.

When you supply the answers and solutions, the message you give to those who look to you for leadership is that they don’t need to think – they can show up for work brain dead.  But when you stop supplying the answers and solutions and instead challenge them to come up with their best answers and solutions, you create an entirely different – and much better – situation.  Your message to your people then is that you trust them to find great solutions.  That’s when they’ll use their creativity to generate better ideas, to see things differently in order to continuously improve.

And you drive accountability that way, too, because when the people who look to you for leadership find their own solutions, they own the issue and ownership is the driver of accountability.  Then that lid on possibilities I mentioned before is blown right off.

So, when that question or problem arrives, instead of obeying the knee-jerk response of supplying an answer or solution, instead do what great leaders do:  Ask great questions.  Harness the brain power of all who are around you.  That way you’ll have an entire company of the Smartest Boys and Girls in Class.


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Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler and Fully Alive Leadership. All rights reserved. Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

One Comment to The Smartest Boys and Girls In Class

  1. Tom Gioia
    July 1, 2010 7:06 pm

    Jack,

    Your thoughts on leadership are great; particularly the post about The Smartest Kids In Class. We’ve seen great leaders in that situation many times, and the way you’ve captured the problem (and the solution) is dead-on accurate.

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