It’s Time to Loosen the Reins
Many people operate in the “work-work-work” mode believing that at some point their hard work, blood, sweat and tears will pay off with success, money and fun to be shared with family and friends.
There is one problem with this theory, according to Nelson. Most Lone Rangers work so hard, they either: a) miss the big payoff; b) don’t live long enough to get the big payoff; or c) have no one to enjoy the payoff with because their friends and families are now strangers.
Remember, no one on their last day on Earth ever said, “I wish I just worked a little more, tried a little harder, spent more time at the office.” No, most people regret not spending enough time with family and friends or watching their children grow up.
But it’s not too late for the Lone Ranger. There is still time to regain your life.
The first step is to climb down off Silver and learn a new word — TEAM — and be comfortable with it. As a team, your company can go farther than where you can go by yourself. As the team leader, your responsibility — to yourself and to your employees — is to create a team atmosphere that presents team members the opportunity to learn and grow in their profession and as leaders.
To begin moving from the Lone Ranger to becoming a team leader, you must acknowledge that the Lone Ranger way costs your family, employees, company and yourself. You have to give up knowing all the answers and being right about everything. Finally, you have to give up not wanting to ask for the help you need.
The Six Step Self-Help Program
By utilizing the following six step self-help program, you will be able to transform yourself from the Lone Ranger to the team leader you always wanted to be for your employees.
- Step 1: Pull the plug on the Lone Ranger forever.
To say goodbye to the Lone Ranger, begin by only doing what you do best — and delegating the rest. Delegate those jobs to people who can do them well, and if necessary, recruit people to do them.
- Step 2: Teach what you know to your team.
If this statement makes you cringe and say, “I am already working myself to death, how do I find the time to teach?” — then your team is not big enough. You have to ask for help. You must delegate to your team and you must hold your team accountable for doing what they say they will do for the company. By sharing your knowledge and working with individual team members, you will create self-sufficient, reliable employees.
- Step 3: Be the question, not the answer.
Have you wondered why everyone comes to you for all the answers? Most Lone Rangers create this problem.
If you want employees to think for themselves, you have to ask them what they think. Do not automatically supply them with answers. People learn when they are asked questions and develop the answers. Your team will never grow if you do all the thinking for them.
- Step 4: Be an energetic leader.
As leaders, employers have to be passionate and energized about what they do and where they take their companies. To attract energetic, committed and happy team members, you, as a leader, must be energetic, committed and happy. To achieve this, you must have professional and personal balance. You must take care of yourself first and take time out of each day to do something you love, even if it means doing nothing at all in the middle of the day.
- Step 5: Create a written plan.
Lone Rangers often do what they do alone because they don’t share their plans with others. Create a written plan that includes goals and share it with your employees so that they have the information they need to do their jobs well and help your company succeed. Also, it is imperative that your employees understand and buy into the plan.
- Step 6: Get yourself out of the way.
Often, we are the greatest obstacles to our own success. Our need to control, the feeling that we are the only ones who can get the job done right and the fear of, “What will they think of me?” if we ask for help can inhibit our success.
Move out of the way by keeping your eye only on the big picture and allowing your team to manage the rest. Lead and motivate your team. Listen to and engage your employees. Your job as a leader is to monitor your team’s progress, support them when needed and move on to what comes next.
Do that, and soon, you’ll be on the path to having the kind of life and business that you want. But first, you have to take off that mask.
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