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The perception of leadership often carries with it the assumption that the leader must be the best, the most knowledgeable, the one who always has the answers. This traditional view of leadership, however, is outdated, wrong, and detrimental to the leader and the organization.
In my conversations with numerous leaders, I’ve found that many grapple with this notion, feeling the weight of expectations to always be the ‘best’ in the room. The reality is, effective leadership doesn’t necessitate being the most talented or the smartest individual on your team. Instead, it calls for the ability to harness the collective intelligence and talents of your team members.
I encourage you to embrace the idea of building relationships with individuals who possess skills and talents that surpass your own. This is not a sign of weakness, but rather a strategic move that can enhance your leadership effectiveness and the overall performance of your team.
Bob Dutkowsky is the former CEO and Executive Chairman of Tech Data, a multinational distribution company employing over 14,000 people. He’s also the board chair at US Foods and serves on the board of directors for Pitney Bowes Inc., Raymond James Financial, Inc. and The Hershey Company. He’s one of the most seasoned leaders in the world and he credits his massive success to surrounding himself with people who are better than he is.
Here’s what he told me (and you can see and learn more in the video).
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