Time to become a Chief Enabling Officer?

Time to become a Chief Enabling Officer? – Future Leaders Blog – 03 August 2016

We’re all familiar with the CEO, the Chief Executive Officer. Sure.
But how about the Chief ENABLING Officer? Have you seen her/him?

This is the new take on being a CEO.

Nothing new about it per se; leadership was always about enabling others to do a great job. The difference lies in the awareness. Not all leaders think of themselves as enablers – and then they won’t be as enabling as they could. And make no mistake, this is true for all leaders, whether they are:

• a budding leader
• an informal leader who role models leadership behaviours
• a seasoned leader
• the top dog
• in any of the layers of middle management
• a project leader

If you are any type of leader, it’s your job to ENABLE others to do a great job.

Sure, you may say – but how?

Well, there are many ingredients to enablement, but how about this as a start:
• Making sure team members have the tools and resources they need to do their jobs (eg. Technical equipment, working space, adequate time etc)
• Removing obstacles (eg. Building relationships with other teams/departments so that your team members can get help and collaboration when and where they need it)
• Allowing people to do the job the best way they can (eg. Seeing people’s unique strengths and helping them to use them and develop them, to really play to those strengths)
• Encouraging and prompting team members to collaborate with each other, recognising that people can achieve more together than they ever can on their own. Sharing information and encouraging it.
• Encouraging innovation, involving people to contribute through their skills, experience and knowing – getting creative and being ok with it.
• Allowing for mistakes, knowing that progress requires taking risks, trying things out to adjust and adapt solutions for the future – always learning from those new mistakes (not repeating old mistakes).
• Coaching people to learn from the mistakes, finding the learnings and new solutions they bring. Letting people try new things as part of their ongoing development.

The greatest leaders don’t create followers, they create new leaders. By enabling others, you help them grow into the best person they can be. It’s a pretty cool feeling too.
Who will you enable today?

About the authors
Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”.
Their new book ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions” is out now, published by Financial Times International.
Praise for ”Leading Teams: ”This book is a 21st-century guide on how to build a world-class team. I highly recommend it” Steve Siebold, Founder, Mental Toughness University, Florida USA.
www.leadingteamsbook.com