Let me first clarify what I mean by saying "get out of the way." I am not referring to being a passive leader nor am I saying that any good leader should be less visible. Quite the opposite. Being present and getting your hands dirty is part of the job. But there is a fine balance.

Working alongside the team in the trenches at times is important, but a high performance team must be empowered, nimble and adaptive. This is hard to accomplish when micro-managers are breathing down their necks all day. That's not a sound leadership strategy anyway and it won't lead to improving speed, efficiency or morale.

One of the best ways I have found to improve individual and team performance is to do a stop-start-continue drill. If you haven't heard of this, it's quite simple and a highly effective to tool for opening up transparent lines of communication and defining clear actions that need to be taken.

If you want to improve your leadership ability, do the following.




Allow the front line troops and the organization as a whole do their thing. Don't be an obstruction to progress. Focus on the vision, embrace and evangelize change and build a team that can lead at all levels.