Shayla King, executive life coach looks up from her laptop and smiles while holding a cup of coffee

When Leadership Means Stepping Aside: A Conversation We Need to Have

In the business world, we often find ourselves playing certain roles. We’re the driven employee, the supportive leader, or the team player. But what happens when things don’t quite line up, when someone on the team isn’t thriving as they should? Do we just make some changes and hope for the best, or do we pause and consider a different approach?

Let’s get straight to the point. As leaders, we’re always sizing up how well our team members fit within our team and the larger company culture. But have we ever stopped to wonder whether we’re the best fit for every member of our team?

Think about it. Have you ever heard a leader say, “I think Jaime would do better with Sarah leading him?” Sounds a bit strange, doesn’t it? But it shouldn’t. Different leaders bring different styles, experiences, and knowledge to the table. And that can significantly impact how a team member grows and develops.

This brings us to the million-dollar question: “Could it be me?” We’re not talking about questioning your overall leadership skills or doubting your place in the company. No, this is about recognizing that one of your team members might do better and contribute more under another leader. Sometimes, it’s just the combination of personalities and styles that doesn’t quite work.

Admitting this doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just shows you understand that people grow differently and you’re committed to doing what’s best for your team. It’s about being brave enough to look inward and accept that sometimes the best way to lead is to step aside.

This idea flips the traditional concept of leadership on its head. But it opens the door for a more genuine, empathetic kind of leadership. It means prioritizing individual growth over sticking to the usual way of doing things. And that can lead to happier, more productive employees and a stronger, more successful company.

At the end of the day, it’s not about being the best leader for everyone, but the right leader for each individual. Sometimes, that might mean standing back and cheering on another leader.

Isn’t it time we made this kind of talk a normal part of our leadership conversations? Leadership isn’t just about leading; it’s about knowing when to pass the baton for the good of the team.

Your coach, cheerleader, and accountability partner, Shayla

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