Baseball fans have probably seen times when a player begins to argue with an umpire and is about to be ejected from the game. Suddenly, their manager leaps out of the dugout and interrupts the argument, engaging the umpire while deflecting attention from their player.
After the game, when tempers are back to normal and in the privacy of the clubhouse, the manager will offer feedback to the player, coaching them on what to do when experiencing similar situations in the future.
Empowering leaders challenge their direct reports by putting them in difficult situations. Inevitably, direct reports will struggle as they learn from the experiences. Good leaders know when to jump in and use their influence to prevent their direct report from too detrimental an experience. After the incident, in calmer circumstances, the leader provides course correction coaching and helps the direct report grow from the situation.
Not only will the leader benefit from their direct report’s development, the direct report will move mountains for the leader in the future.
Leaders who empower their direct reports to pursue challenging tasks, but will also jump in and save them when necessary will experience more success.