I recently revisited a team whom I’d partnered with 12 weeks prior. Asked, “What were your favorite memories of our time together?” one person answered, “The best part came after you left.”

My ego’s response: OOUUCCHHHH!

My healthy self’s response: YEEAAAHHH!

When you leave do things get better or worse?


There’s two ways to look at this. When some people leave things get better because the person is not around make things difficult for others. (Is this true for some parents as well?)

A leadership team, contemplating leaving the office four days to raise the bar for themselves and their organization, stated “We couldn’t possibly be gone that long!” Fortunately, their senior leader is wise. She responded, “If we can’t be gone four days what does that say about our leadership? What it says is that we need these days more than we can possibly imagine.”


How about you? Is your leadership approach one that inspires others, is directive and engages others- only when you’re around? (Does your ego lead in a way so others follow only you?)

Or do you take the following three steps to ensure that things get better when you leave:

  1. You let others guide the ship, by using their ideas and tapping into their motivations.
  2. You build accountability in others by asking them questions, rather than the old approach of holding others accountable.
  3. Upon returning, you don’t judge the decisions they made in your absence as good or bad; instead, you use the decisions made as learning material for the future.

What is the difference between what “might be” and what “can be”? You decide.

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