“If you know more than everyone on your team, you have a weak team.”
True leaders not only accept smarter/more knowledgeable people on their team, they seek them out. They purposely surround themselves with people who are either overall more capable or are at least so in specific areas.
Positional leaders (those simply in a position of authority), on the other hand, tend to be very dependent upon their position and authority for their self-esteem. As a result, any perceived threat to such will be defended against — either consciously or unconsciously — and sabotaged either by overt or covert means.
True leaders liberally credit these talented team members for all the value they provide to the organization, as well as to the leader himself/herself. They also actively look for ways to allow these people to lead and to shine.
While leaders (“with or without titles” – as my friends Mark Sanborn and Robin Sharma would say) can come from anywhere within an organization, I’ve always found the culture of an organization to begin at the top and trickle down. When leadership at the top is guarded and defensive, that’s typically what will be found throughout. The opposite is also true.
Only a leader with character, competence and confidence desires to be surrounded by those he or she deems to be in some way(s) their superior. And they tend to have very strong teams as a result.
What do you think? Any examples come to mind?