Don’t Be A Banyan Tree
December 6, 2022
Long back, when I was a first-time manager and a leader, I struggled with one specific challenge. If there was something important, I would do the critical parts of the task on my own, without delegating. My constant worry was that if I handed that work off to someone else, they would not be able to handle it. So, why bother? It would be better if I dealt with the work myself.
I realized over time that in trying to minimize my risk by not delegating, I was keeping my team members from developing and growing. I stunted my own team’s growth by controlling critical aspects, and consequently, I became a choke point. I needed to intervene and be involved in everything. The worst part was that my teammates never assumed ownership and accountability.
I coined a term for the type of leadership I showed in my early career days.
Banyan Tree Leadership.
A Banyan tree has a unique characteristic. As it grows, a banyan tree does not allow any other tree or plant to grow in its immediate vicinity. Therefore, banyan trees are not very good if you want a variety of plants to grow and thrive.
Similarly, don’t be a banyan tree when it comes to leadership.
Do not try doing the critical work yourself. Instead, delegate and then guide your team. Allow your teammates to raise their game too. Let them make their own mistakes and learn from the experience.