Content By Allen Huffman

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By: Allen Huffman

To be a good leader, you must develop people who can function without you looking over their shoulder. There’s no greater satisfaction than mentoring someone who turns out to be a great leader. In war, a leader must develop capable people to carry out orders, and to succeed in business you must as a leader develop strong independent lieutenants. The question is how? The answer is to develop the ability of your people to make decisions without fear, and this is a very scary proposition to some managers.

I once worked for a manager who wouldn’t let me send a memo to our corporate offices unless he revised it first. I’ve sat in lengthy staff meetings with college-educated men and women arguing over sentence structure in a procedure. One boss became so frustrated that he declared himself the word master, the final authority in what words were to be used.

Why do so many managers have such trouble delegating responsibility? If you can’t trust your people to make decisions, then you’ve failed as a leader. It’s your job to help your people grow and learn, and they cannot do that without some freedom and authority.