Teach A Manager To Fish

Great CEOs know that experience is the best teacher. They’ve been in the trenches long enough to know the difference between a true crisis and an invented one. They can spot a teachable moment a mile away – and know how to make them most of it.

Take Glenn Thoroghman, the CEO of Laron, a company I worked with some time ago. Glenn isn’t one to jump and try to “fix” his managers’ business problems; rather, he expects them to solve them on their own.  He hangs back, offers context, asks questions and coaches his managers on to success. He creates what my associate Nikki Nemerouf calls a “thought legacy” – an opportunity for others to think strategically, match with the marketplace and, hopefully, win. And that’s what usually happens. People figure it out, gain confidence and move the ball forward.

By creating learning opportunities for his people, Glenn greatly increases both his value as a leader and the company’s overall value. By the way, Glenn isn’t the only leader at Laron who operates this way. They all do.

So next time you have the urge to jump in and “fix” something, stop yourself, take a deep breath and think: Don’t steal this learning opportunity from someone else. Instead, use it to build value.