effectively lead when you don't know everything

How To Effectively Lead When You Don’t Know Everything

In Leadership Resources by Brandt A. Handley

Inevitably in business, as in life, you aren’t able to know everything. In fact, you might know very little about certain areas of the business you work in. It can be intimidating to be a leader when you don’t have all the answers all the time. Hopefully, your Middle Market organization has fantastic employees, a robust management and leadership team and a very strong C-Suite. And, everyone is focused on working as a team. In some cases, however, you may have people who go out of their way to call attention to your lack of knowledge or work against you.

So, what can you do to be an effective leader despite not knowing everything about your Middle Market firm?

Lead With Confidence & Acknowledge Areas Where You Need Assistance


Not knowing everything isn’t a fault, it’s a fact of life. So, the first step is to remember you were hired for a reason. Your confidence likely had something to do with that. Also, it’s key to acknowledge that companies rarely try to clone their leaders completely. You were hired for your particular skills, talents, and knowledge and you will be expected to pick up the rest along the way. Be confident in your abilities and realize that you will need assistance.

Equally important is to know what you don’t know and where you can find knowledge and assistance. For instance, if you recently took over a new team or were just hired, you may not know a lot of things. Or, when a new program or tool is brought on board, you might not be involved in the onboarding and training. Acknowledge what you aren’t familiar with, find out who can help educate you and ask for help.

Use Your Available Resources


The best resource in most Middle Market organizations is their human capital, so make sure you use it. Get to know the employees you lead individually. Ask for their input on areas you should spend time learning. Again, you don’t need to know how to do everyone’s individual jobs – you need to know what they do and how it all goes together.

Have them spend time explaining their roles and responsibilities to you one on one. Make sure you ask for their suggestions and take to heart areas they may have issues with. Ask how you can make their responsibilities easier.

You’ll show you care about what they bring to the table and are dedicated to helping them do their jobs more effectively.

Cultivate A Trusted Team


When you have your one on one conversations, you probably identified some key people who know their roles inside and out, can diplomatically talk about problem areas and are able to quickly make decisions. These people are a good source for building a ‘team’ you can turn to when you need feedback or assistance. You may even want to consider forming a formal team of these individuals who are tasked with keeping you up to date and also who focus on improving processes and educating others on their teams.

Leading when you don’t know everything can be difficult, but it isn’t impossible. Focus on being a leader and use the tools and resources at your disposal.

So what’s in the Mighty Middle Market for me? — get it right now at www.Go4ROI.com.