Security through a Team

From time to time I have worked with people who refuse to build a team around themselves. They thrive on being the Lone Ranger; the person with the plan; the one everyone looks to when a problem needs to be solved or a task needs to be accomplished.

Almost always, this tendency is based in insecurity. People feel like a team makes them irreplaceable. They're afraid if they empower a group of people to lead underneath them they will make themselves expendable. If they are the only person who knows how things work, they can't be replaced.

In reality, I think the opposite is true. Short of an ethical or moral challenge, the failure to build a team is as sure a way as I know to find yourself replaced. Building a solid team of people who can do your job better than you is as sure a way as I know to get promoted.

Teams allow you to focus on a higher level of tasks and to take on more responsibility. If you fail to build a team you create a ceiling for yourself - you are only able to be responsible for the things you are able to do yourself. As the organization continues to grow and change, you won't have the margin to grow with it and you won't make it.

Team-building ensures margin, allows focus, and maximizes effectiveness. As a result, it might be the most important trait of a person who wants to be a high-level leader.