When we convince ourselves we are the only ones who can or should lead, make decisions or take risks - we are alone at the top and we just don't know it.
Fathers, mothers, business, project or ministry leaders far too often depend on themselves before and above others. Many times we are not exactly aware.
Here are a few signs we may be more isolated and alone at the top than we think.
1. You make decisions others could make.
2. You hand off tasks but not authority.
3. Your people are good at doing but not as good at leading.
4. You feel you have to check behind your people.
5. You can't leave yourself out of the loop.
6. You decide things then tell, instead of tell others you want their help deciding.
7. Your people can predict your level of empowerment as low.
8. You actually fear what the outcome will or will not be if you are not involved.
9. You are more happy and confident when thinking, researching and making decisions alone.
10. You believe others cannot take your place or you don't employ people you believe could do your job as good or better than you.
11. You have been leading from the top and making most big decisions longer than anyone else around you.
HABIT: These are potential indicators you have grown into the habit of leading alone. As leaders in the home, at work or in the community, we must actually focus on working ourselves out of a job.
TRAINING: Not that we give up our role as father, but that we train our kids to make great decisions, do great work and process well - WITHOUT US.
STORY: I remember this being tested in our home a few years ago while on vacation. My oldest daughter was home alone when a huge fire broke out in our town. It made national news and burned thousands of acres. Many lost their homes. Our home was on the border of the evac area so families needed help. Lizzy opened our home, cooked, cleaned, hosted, prayed, encouraged and loved others deeply. All without the help of her parents. She was a teen who acted like an adult because she had been trained to be an adult not a teen. This is a praise of her, more than us, but it's a great example of how our followers develop if we back away and let them.
Are you training your team members to be better, smarter, faster and more effective than you? If you are not, you have stopped being a leader and begun to be a doer, who just happens to be at the top.
Leaders develop and empower OR they forfeit their leadership impact - period.
DON'T END UP ALONE AT THE TOP.