At the early stages, new leaders may feel the pressure to perform. As we gain experience, we realize that performance does not always equate to satisfaction. Poor leaders make it all about themselves. Good leaders play for the team. In fact, good leaders learn the art of restraining themselves in order to release others.
When England was beaten by Italy in the European Championship on England’s soil a few hours ago, it was easy to point fingers. However, the English coach, Gareth Southgate led by example by defending his team in times of disappointment. “Nobody is on their own in that situation…we win and lose together as a team. They’ve given everything. The players have been tight throughout, and that’s how it has to stay.” He said after the game.
Throughout this year’s European Championship games, Gary Southgate was presented the chance to standout. The media baited him with praises after his team progressed to the semi-final without conceding a goal. Yet, with his eyes on the ultimate glory – and not wanting to distract, Southgate deflected the praises and instead pointed to the team’s resilience and the brilliance of his players. In doing so, Southgate restrained himself in order to release his players.
Leaders feel lonely at the top when they are the only ones there. Take your team along the journey to the top. It is okay to sit back sometimes and let the team shine. A leader’s strength is in when to take the back seat for other members on the team to be in the spotlight. If you share your spotlight with your team, the members will be willing to share their honest feedback to improve things. Good leaders tag along with their team members on the podium, great leaders restrain themselves to release their team to perform at their full potential.