More Yoda, Less Superman

Remember that scene in Superman where he sat down after the valiant rescue to debrief it—to help the person get to the cause of why they were in that predicament so they could avoid it next time? Whoosh. Nope, he was of course gone to save the next person, put out the next fire, and on and on. Know anyone like that? As blindspots go, it's a noble one. But making the pivot—to bring out your inner 'yoda' instead—is the most important management pivot there is.

The challenge is that being a high performer—being superman or superwoman—is what got you this far. You got things done. You're getting things done while you're reading this. But there's a limit that you'll hit if you haven't already. And yes, it takes one to know one. It's not the end of the world, but what you do next can make all the difference. Not just in your life, but in the lives of the people who call you 'boss.'  Here're three ways to turn the table the next time you feel the urge to run to the phone booth.

With your team, try one of these:

  • 'I have an idea, but I'm curious how you'd like to handle it. Let's meet in an hour and hear yours, mine and maybe we'll think of a third one together.'
  • 'I'm not sure if it's going to work, but let's try it. What I'd like from you is a metric.  How will you know if your solution is working?'

And when you get home you'll need this one:

  • 'Honey, I'm panicking about letting go of control. Can you remind me that I know I need to do it anyway?'

Great mentoring isn't about being the hero. It's about helping someone else discover that they are.

Superman got a lot of press. But Yoda had a lot more time off.

Jonathan Raymond