Confession: I was a benevolent dictator

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

by Bob Tiede, LeadingWithQuestions.com


Editor's note: This article is chapter 1 from Now That’s A Great Question by Bob Tiede, LeadingWithQuestions.com. Used by permission.



I thought the job of a leader was to be directive i.e. to tell his/her staff what to do.


I loved my staff! I wanted the very best for them. I wanted to do everything I could to help them win.


My strategy for their development as leaders was for them to hang around me. I frequently said, “A lot more is caught than taught! If you just hang around me you will learn a lot!”


My strategy for helping them to succeed was to let them benefit from everything I knew that would help them climb the mountain successfully.


When they came to me with a problem, I gave them step-by-step instructions on how to solve it.


When they came to me with an idea, I applauded them for their idea and then shared with them two or more things that would add horsepower to their plan.


When I asked them to take on a new project—if they said “Yes!”—I asked them to pull out a legal pad and I gave them step-by-step instructions on how to do it.


And when one of my staff left my office, I smiled with the thought that they were walking away so impressed with my wisdom, and so appreciative that I had given them the perfect road map to success. I was absolutely clueless about how my “over-helpfulness”