“The more we narrow the definition of beauty, the more beauty we shut out of our lives.” – Jim C. Hines
That quote appears in a fantasy novel. In this particular section of the book, one of the main characters is thinking about the other characters in the book. This sentence intrigues me for several reasons. First, I think it is true.
Second, it reflects a chicken or the egg puzzle. Did the author craft this part of the story to make this point, or did the author have this thought while crafting this part of the story? We may never know, but just like the chicken and the egg, we get to enjoy both. We can appreciate the story, and we can appreciate the egg.
The third reason this sentence intrigues me because it gets at a very important point about our lives. We live day to day from our own perspective. Our view of the world is unique to ourselves. If we are not aware of the limits our reality, then we are not aware of our potential. We limit ourselves. I find it important to always challenge our own thinking.
I did not expect to find this quote in this book. Many people probably have read that sentence and not spent time thinking about the implication. But it is a great example of what we can find when we take the time to pause, become aware, listen, and think.
It also shows us that not all great ideas have to come from a textbook, or a professor. There are lessons all around us.
As Ronald Reagan said, “Surround yourself with great people; delegate authority; get out of the way.” But at times, you may find this difficult to do. Here are three key reasons, I have found that people fail to delegate.
1. A desire to maintain control. If a leader tries to maintain control through involvement in all the details, the team will be limited in their success. A leader will be more likely to embrace delegation if they can develop their leadership knowledge and skills. Moving the focus from task success to team success can unleash amazing results.
2. A belief that the team does not have the required knowledge. This can be a valid reason to stay more involved with a team. But as a leader, you should be focused on getting your team the education they need to be successful. A leader’s worth is not in the knowledge they hold, but in the knowledge they share.
3. A belief that the team does not share your values. This may be the hardest challenge for a leader to overcome. Teams need shared values. However, not all values will be shared. Individual values also play a part in the strength of a team. To overcome this delegation roadblock a leader must be able to identify the difference between key team values, and supporting individual values. A leader will be more successful if they embrace the diversity of individuals within a framework of strong team values.
If you are feeling stress because your team is not achieving to their potential, examine your level of delegation. Is one of these reasons holding you back?