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Using Leadership to Teach and Build Humility, Confidence, and High-Level, pages 215-221

Part Two: Leadership Tactics, 3. Maneuvers, A. Using Leadership to Teach and Build, II – Teaching Humility, III – Building or Rebuilding Confidence, IV – Building High-Level Team Players, (pages 215-221)


A. Using Leadership to Teach and Build, II – Teaching Humility, III – Building or Rebuilding Confidence, IV – Building High-Level Team Players

II – Teaching Humility

While subordinate leaders need to be confident, sometimes they can become overconfident. This then leads to arrogance and a lack of humility. While life is the ultimate teacher of humility, often there is not enough time to wait that long. To infuse humility into overconfident leaders, put them in charge of a task that is outside their level of competency. One of two things will occur. They will understand that they need help and ask for it. Asking for help is a humbling experience. Or, their arrogance will take over, not ask for help, and go forward and fail. Failure is a humbling experience. If the arrogant leader succeeds, create more difficult challenges for them. If they continue to succeed, you will be growing them as a leader. If they eventually fail, they will be humbled.

III – Building or Rebuilding Confidence

“The medicine for a lack of confidence is very similar to the medicine for overconfidence: put the individual in charge.” The difference between the two is that to build confidence put the individual in charge of a task well within their competency level. As they start to succeed, their confidence will grow. Create more difficult tasks for them until their confidence is rebuilt. “Find the balance and apply the right amount of pressure to encourage growth.”

IV – Building High-Level Teams

There does not have to be a problem, arrogance, or a lack of confidence, to put subordinates in leadership positions. “Putting junior people in charge makes them better. It makes them understand what is going on way above their pay grades and how their jobs tie into the strategic mission. Leadership is a tool that can help you help your people. Use it.”

As a leader, one of your jobs is to make yourself dispensable. That is, the team should be able to effectively function without you. You go about that by allowing your team to grow by giving them a wide variety of leadership responsibilities. In my experiences as the leader, I always attempted to get those closest to the issue involved with developing solutions. I didn’t need to always be the smartest person in the room. I needed to be smart enough to understand that and then recruit those smarter to develop solutions. This type of approach allowed me to develop and strengthen my leadership teams. It also provided buy-in as those directly affected by the situation were also involved in developing answers. As the leader, it can be overwhelming to think you need to know the answer to every question. While that type of leader might have worked long ago, the speed at which things change and develop is only increasing and it would be impossible for the leaders of today to have all the answers. As a leader, be humble and surround yourself with really smart people and listen to what they have to say. Chances are it’s something better or you have not even considered. Develop a high-level team by nurturing your teammates by listening, allowing, and protecting them. By being a leader, you develop leaders.

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© 2019 by Erik Bentzel. 

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