In today’s high-tech world it’s inevitable that you’re going to end up hiring workers who know more about their specialty than you.
Executive coach Marshall Goldsmith, writing for the Harvard Business Review, says that the key to handling this situation is empathy.
“In such instances, you have to look at leadership through the wants and needs of the worker as opposed to the skills of the leader,” he writes.
Working long hours isn’t going to overcome the knowledge gap all by itself. Goldsmith says that, “Those who lead by example and demonstrate passion for what they do make it much easier for their followers to do the same.”
Education, of course, is another great tool for managing your relationship with subordinates. By giving your employees a chance to expand their skills you can see what they do, and don’t, know. That’s a great opportunity to position yourself to give advice and support in the future.
Goldsmith also advises helping your employees make connections with people they couldn’t meet without you. “Today, job security comes from having ability, passion, and a great network. Leaders who enable people to form strong networks both inside and outside the company will gain a huge competitive advantage along with the loyalty of their workers”
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