Make room for others

Years ago I read a short story about a flower that was planted in front of an oak tree. The flower enjoyed the shade and protection from the hot sun and heavy rains that the oak tree provided.

One day, the oak tree was cut down and the flower panicked, thinking it was now exposed. What it didn’t realize is that the sun and rain actually gave it what it needed to flourish well beyond where it had been all along.

I love that story because it’s always reminded me of how leaders can overshadow the people they serve. People in organizations often have talent that hasn’t been unleashed because it’s ignored or the structure of the organization hasn’t allowed for it. They simply don’t get to flourish.

We need to think about how we can get out of the way and make room for others to flourish and not be stuck in a role where their only value is in repeating the same work when they have so much more to offer. It’s okay for others to get credit and to be recognized even above us.

Making room for others is one of the lost or even hidden leadership principles that can make a world of difference in a market where we are in such need of talent.

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