The Leadership of Letting Go
I find myself processing a lot what I call the “grey” issues of leadership… the answers and decisions that are not so easy to figure out. (I think that’s why they call it leadership, right?)
As Cross Point has grown, one of the big grey areas for me is the leadership of letting go. I have a tendency to be a very hands-on, in-the-details leader – ok, I’ll just come out and say it… I can be a micro-manager.
I don’t mean to be. Truly. But I’m horribly wired to see details. I see the direction we need to go and then I can – in a matter of seconds – rattle off every minute detail that needs to take place to get us from point A to point B. Frankly, I wish I didn’t think this way. Ignorance seems like bliss, but I just can’t seem to ignore details.
As Cross Point has grown, it has stretched me tremendously. If I weren’t learning to let go, you would have probably found me somewhere in a corner curled up in the fetal position a very long time ago.
To be a leader of a growing organization you have to learn the leadership of letting go – the leadership of trust – the leadership of empowerment.
Cross Point Bellevue became a case study in this lesson for me. There was simply too much going on for me to know all the details. I had no choice but to trust, and thankfully we have amazing team that helps make that a bit easier.
I had to learn to know the “right” things and then I had to trust our team to handle the rest.
Was everything done exactly as I would have done it? Probably not
Were there some surprises? Sure
Did the campus launch extremely well? A resounding YES
Here are some things that I didn’t know until the campus opened:
- Who our volunteer leaders were for each ministry area
- What color the classrooms were going to be
- What our furniture looked like
- How the office was going to be set up
- How many volunteers were signed up to serve the first day
- If the toilet paper was stocked, if the coffee was brewing, if there were trash cans in the building
These are just a few… and I’m sure there are many more things that I don’t even know that I don’t know. I also know that I didn’t lead through this without my share of mistakes. I leaned in too heavily in some areas and was unnecessarily absent in others.
But, what I’m discovering is that every leadership journey and experience will be different and I have to choose to listen and find a way to grow in the middle of it… and discern what to let go of.
How about you? What have you learned to let go of in your leadership growth?