A Google exec shares one of the most important leadership lessons he's ever learned

Amit SinghalFlickr / Niall KennedyAmit Singh, president of Google for Work.

Sometimes it’s easier to do something yourself than to take the time to teach someone else how to do it. But it’s not always the best move in the long run.

In a recent interview with Adam Bryant of The New York Times, Amit Singh, president of Google for Work, said he learned this lesson — the importance of coaching people rather than jumping in and doing the work for them — the hard way.

“A lot of folks have a tough time with that balance, and I did, too,” he told Bryant. “Instead of giving people advice or coaching them on how to present something, I would go and do it for them or write their presentation.”

Over the years, Singh said he has tried to find the balance of when to jump in and when to coach. “I’ve also learned how to coach. A lot of folks wait until a formal review, and I’ve always felt that the best coaching is in the moment and actionable.

“It’s about trying to make somebody better versus criticising someone for doing something. Done right, people love it, because you’re really invested in their success. The flip side is that if you just say what’s wrong, then people feel terrible,” he concluded.

Read the full New York Times interview here.

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