The Greatest Leaders in the World Capitalize on Facilitation
Is it tough leading others with more experience than you? Are you confident in your knowledge and work ethic, but feel judged by those around you? These are feelings many of us have (I know I do!), and will continue to have, as we move up the chain of command. What’s important is keeping your humility and seeing this dilemma as an opportunity, not a problem.
Even if you are the smartest or the most experienced person in the room, it can be difficult to lead a capable group of people. We all want the best working with us, and as leaders, we don’t want to miss out on the valuable knowledge they bring to the table. A leader who recognizes each person’s unique contributions, value and talents will benefit greatly from the creative solutions developed by their team to address challenges or threats to the organization…or even just every day work!
Many of us wish for this kind of collaborative and effective group dynamic, but I know it’s not that easy. However, there are tools that you can use to help you feel more at ease in your team!
This video brings you one of the world’s greatest ‘thinkers’ and coaches, Marshall Goldsmith, as he discusses one of his contemporaries, Alan Mulally. Marshall talks about how Mulally came to Ford Motor Company with no knowledge about the industry and still was able to effectively lead top executives. How? Simply stated, his secret was facilitating. Mulally didn’t have to be the smartest person in the room, he just needed to understand how to access all the knowledge in the room. By doing this, he gained respect and buy-in from his employees as each individual effectively aids in achieving the goals of the organization.
Facilitation is a highly effective tool, especially when those around you know more than you as the leader. It allows you to create an environment that allows everyone to contribute while pursuing common interests. Marshall recalls one lesson he learned from Mulally that left a lasting impact:
As you climb ranks in business, you will increasingly utilize facilitation because a leader at that level needs to be “a person who helps people get the leadership they need, and not the provider of the leadership.” The help needed isn’t just found from higher ups, but from people at all different levels of the company who have what is needed to reach a solution.
The greatest leaders facilitate by removing their personal attachment to ideas and reorienting their goals for the greater good of the group or organization. Facilitation helps to check egos by reminding everyone that a greater collaborative effort is needed and produces better results. It definitely takes effort and practice to become a great facilitator, but everyone can learn how! We may not have the high profile success that Alan Mulally does, but practice facilitation and you’ll gain the same results: respect and buy in from your group – and happy, creative, productive people!
*Meet the Author*
Joe Pazmany works with Leadership Inspirations developing training methods and experiential content while he completes research for his Doctorate in Organizational Leadership.