Unlocking the Heart and Soul of Remarkable Leadership, Keith Merron
Remarkable Leadership

Archive for September, 2011

How Essential Am I?

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

How Essential Am I?

A funny

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thing happened today. I was facilitating a meeting of an executive team. They were together in the east coast while I was on the west coast. We were using video and teleconference to see and he

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one another. During the meeting I pressed my mute button to prevent them from hearing me cough. I forgot to press the unmute button, however I did not realize this. About three minutes had passed when I intervened to guide the group in a particular direction and no one responded. I repeated myself (again, unaware that I was still muted) and again no one responded. I chalked it up to the fact (or so I thought) that they were so engrossed in the conversation that my intervention was not heard. I decided to honor this and keep my counsel for a while longer. The g

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roup appeared to not only self-correct, but its conversation seemed quite effective. A few minutes later I had something to say, but again they did not hear me, so again I kept my counsel. It was only when they did not hear me a few more minutes later than I realized my gaffe. I was on mute the whole time.

What is disturbing about this is that perhaps my efforts are, and were not necessary. I like to think of myself as someone who adds value to a meeting and I feel that I am often essential to the cause, but this experience offered the possibility that perhaps I’m not as essential or valuable as I’d like to believe.

I wonder how essential our leadership is. As leaders, our goal should not be to make ourselves indispensible, but instead to create conditions where the team can operate without us as leaders.
I like to think that I’ve added so much value to the team that they can now self-correct better than if I were present all along, and that perhaps I’ve helped them be less reliant on me. This frees me up to think about where else I can add value and perhaps elevate my contribution. Isn’t that part of what the goal of all leaders needs to be?

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