I recently attended a fabulous musical performance by singer/songwriter Amos Lee. My daughter had given me the tickets months ago, knowing how much I enjoy the artist’s bluesy, soulful, pared-down acoustic style. I’ve been anticipating the concert all summer, listening to my Amos Lee station on Pandora, and imagining I’d hear all those familiar songs performed live in concert.
Lee hit the stage, not as a solo act, but with his amazing band. He also shared the stage with his invited musical guests, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Every one of these musicians was given time in the spotlight and the opportunity to take center stage. The result was a phenomenal performance that I, and the rest of the audience, will not soon forget.
The concert was a huge success because Amos Lee did more than simply take the stage as a solo performer. That, in itself, would have made for a terrific show. But in sharing the spotlight and showcasing others’ talent, Lee orchestrated a performance beyond my highest expectations.
As a leader, are you sharing the stage as you should be? Are you leveraging the diversity and talent that sits within your organization? Are you creating outcomes that far outweigh anything one individual (you) could ever accomplish as a solo act?
Think about it, give it honest reflection, then rate yourself on a scale of 1-10. Ask yourself:
How well (or, how often) do I do the following?
- Showcase members of my team in front of key stakeholders.
- Give my team the opportunity to lead the discussion, while I take a back seat.
- Give credit to my team for successful outcomes.
- Seek, consider, and incorporate diverse points of view.
- Leverage the strengths and talents of my team
- Share credit with business partners who’ve contributed to a successful result.
- Offer exciting leadership opportunities to my team.
Here’s how to interpret your score.
56-70: Exceptional! You are sharing the glory, showcasing talent, leveraging your team’s strengths, and collaborating for top results. Keep it up, and encourage your team to bring to the same approach to their teams and business partners.
35-55: Fair/Good. You sometimes share the stage, highlight others’ contributions, provide leadership opportunities and/or incorporate diverse perspectives. Do this more often and more consistently to ensure greater leadership impact and drive increased engagement among your team and business partners.
Less than 35: What’s holding you back? This is a good time for additional reflection. Consider:
- Why aren’t you sharing credit, showcasing talent, providing leadership opportunities or incorporating diversity of thought into your work as a leader?
- Do you have a strong enough team, allowing you to confidently let go as you raise others up?
- Have you identified the benefits of sharing the stage?
- Do you worry that sharing credit might diminish your own impact or recognition?
Reflect on your results, then create a plan to get even better at sharing the stage… and act on it. Use this as a great opportunity to grow as a leader, engage and retain top talent, build strong partnerships, and drive to stellar outcomes.