“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Decentralized leadership is not about abdicating responsibility, but empowering your team to take ownership. It’s about building a culture where innovation thrives and people feel valued.
Henry Singleton, the co-founder of Teledyne Technologies, exemplified this approach. He believed in hiring the best people and letting them run their operations without interference. He wasn’t micromanaging; he was trusting his team to do what they were hired to do. Singleton’s trust in his team allowed Teledyne to grow into a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate with diverse interests.
This approach fosters creativity and initiative. When people feel trusted, they often exceed expectations. They invest more of themselves in their work because they feel ownership, not just employment.
Action Step: Evaluate areas in your business where you could grant more autonomy to your team. Discuss with them how they can take more responsibility and ownership. Assess what support they might need to succeed without constant oversight.
Decentralized leadership encourages creativity, accountability, and can lead to a more dynamic, responsive business. It’s not about losing control; it’s about leveraging the full potential of your team. It’s about creating leaders within your organization who share your vision and drive.
If you trust in your team’s ability and empower them, you’re building a foundation for success that extends beyond your personal reach. Your team can become your greatest asset. To dive deeper into this concept and learn from leaders who applied it, check out our book of the week “The Outsiders” by William N. Thorndike.