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How to Lead and Keep “Big L” Leaders on your Team

big dog

Great parents know that you don’t parent every kid the same way. Great leaders understand this principle, and because of it they don’t treat everyone on their team the same way. “Big L” leaders are a different breed. Not only have they been gifted with a greater leadership capacity, but they’ve worked at perfecting their craft. You can’t lead these kinds of leaders the way you lead everyone else on your team. If you do, you won’t keep them on your team. They need something different.

Leadership

This may sound obvious, but you can’t keep these kinds of leaders on your team without offering them serious leadership. They will challenge your personal leadership capacity more than any other person on your team. These kinds of team members crave a compelling and clear direction. They respond to strong leadership because they’re strong leaders. You can shoot straight with them because they’re mission focused just like you.

Empowerment

Don’t try delegating tasks to these leaders. If you do they’ll feel micromanaged and leave you. They need the position and authority to go and make real decisions and execute to objectives. Don’t tell them what to do, tell them where you’re going, and then let them lead there.

Coaching

“Big L” leaders are personally secure, and they can accept coaching. In fact, reviewing the game tape and looking for opportunities to improve the next play doesn’t bother them at all. They want to get better.

Resource

These kinds of team members need to have the resources to do their job. Don’t give them a big challenge, point them in a clear direction and give them the authority to execute without resourcing them to accomplish the vision. If you don’t resource them they won’t take you seriously.

Challenge

These kinds of leaders aren’t afraid of being challenged. They’re need something big to chase. In fact if you don’t give “Big L” leaders a steady diet of fresh meat they’ll go hunting somewhere else.


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