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Why Your Team Needs to be Better Than You

By Anthony Taylor - March 25, 2022

SME Strategy is a strategy consulting company that specializes in aligning teams around their vision, mission, values, goals and action plans. Learn more about how we can help align your team with our strategic planning and implementation services.

Are you leading a business? Let me tell you something that like might break your brain a little bit. You need to have your team be better than you - for so many reasons. Otherwise, you're going to turn into the bottleneck for your business or your organization.

So my name is Anthony Taylor, I'm the Managing Partner at SME Strategy. For the past 10 years, I've been coaching leaders, CEOs, executives, on how to be as effective as possible with their teams, so they can get to where they want to go.

One of the biggest challenges I see, is that CEOs and leaders try to take on so much on their plates, and they don't leverage the people around them. They do so at their peril.

So the biggest upside I've seen with people, especially CEOs and leaders, is when they're able to leverage their team and harness all the skills and talents that their people have.

So today, I want to talk to you about why your team needs to be better than you, and what you can do to move that forward.

The first reason to leverage your team is that there's just more of them than you. And it's so stupidly obvious, but sometimes we forget it. If you're trying to be in all places at once, it's gonna be impossible.

The other thing to think about as you develop your team, which is more than you, is that if you try to do everything, you're gonna be super lonely. I's a really challenging thing about being an executive leader, a senior leader. There's no one else to talk to. So the more you can structure your team to support you, the less lonely it is and the easier it is to kind of share the burden or share the challenges of leading an organization.


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The final piece of this is that it's almost impossible to be able to use your time, money energy effectively, when you're doing it all yourself. You just don't have the physical resources or physical bandwidth to do everything well, from where you sit. One of the key benefits of being able to leverage your team and make sure that your team is better than you is they can take things off your plate. I mean, you could try to do everything, but it's just really not sustainable.

I was talking to somebody today who had he runs a 200 person organization. He had an inflection point, an 'aha moment' at 100 employees. He said, "you know, I can't do this all myself, I need to hire people around me, instead of being a jack of all trades". He was able to put specialists in the right areas, and those specialists did the job so much better than he ever could. So by being able to understand that you can leverage your team's own strength, you can actually use the people around you to get the job done best.

As a leader culturally, it's going to help the entire organization, because it's going to show that you trust your team. If you try to be everywhere at once. it's going to occur that you're micromanaging them, and that you don't trust them to do their jobs. Then your job ultimately becomes as a real leader being able to manage those people. So by having better people than you around you, it can ultimately allow you to do more stuff and take more off your plate.

One of the reasons you want to develop your team and have teams and people around you that are smarter is to basically close the gap. As I mentioned in that story earlier, that CEO was able to hire people that were better than him, so that he could close the gap both within his organization and within his team. If there's too much of a talent gap between you and the people around you, you're going to have to spend too much time as a leader, as a CEO, as an owner, correcting, supporting micromanaging people to make sure they do things right. So you're going to end up firefighting and managing versus up here leading, which is what you really want to be doing.

A byproduct of that micromanagement is typically turnover, your employees are going to feel frustrated because they can't do the job properly, you're gonna feel frustrated because they're not doing the job properly. Then eventually, it's not going to be a fit on either side. So as much as you want to have bodies in there, for lack of a better word, you got to make sure that you have the right skilled people in the right places to support you in doing your job.

As a CEO, you need to have people that can elevate you, as well as move the organization forward. So one of the tricks and tools that I recommend to be able to help bridge that gap and to help close the divide between you and your employees and where you think they should be at or not, is to align your team.

So we do that through facilitating strategic planning sessions. We make sure everybody understands what their role is, how they contribute, and what part of the team they need to play. When you align your team, everybody is going to be moving forward towards the same mission and vision. Everybody's going to know what they need to work on and how their contributions make a difference to the bottom line. The expectations are going to be clear, which helps everybody be successful.

You can help manage expectations, they can help live up to those expectations. And then you have alignment between performance, and you won't have to micromanage. Creating a strategy, having a clear direction or strategic alignment in place helps you as a leader lead, because everybody else can follow the plan instead of having to react to your needs and wants on a day to day basis.


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If your team is better than you, you're going to be able to better leverage not only the number of people on your team, but the skills that you have on your team. You're going to make sure that you're in a position to lead instead of micromanage. If you don't put yourself in a place to lead, then the downside is there's going to be lower engagement, crappy culture, people will ultimately quit, and it's going to cost you money.

So it makes sense to invest on the front end and put the right talent in the right places to help your organization move forward. How you can do that is start by going through a strategic planning process to make sure your team is aligned, make sure your team is clear on where you're going, and that you as a leader have a structure to support everybody being successful in that plan.

So if you want to learn more about how to align your team, move them forward and create that talent development plan, be sure to reach out. I'd be happy to have a conversation with you about how we approach alignment, how we approach team development, and how you as a CEO can put the structure around you to support your organizational goals.

So if you enjoyed today's video, be sure to check out our other videos in this series about stakeholder engagement and engaging groups as part of the strategic planning process. Be sure to drop a comment below, like and subscribe, and just follow along with all the great strategy and leadership content we make over here.

So thanks for watching.

Once again, my name is Anthony Taylor. I'm the Managing Partner at SME Strategy. I look forward to speaking with you and sharing in our next video!


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