A lesson that I return to again and again is that whenever I step in to solve a problem, I’m robbing someone on our team of the opportunity to grow.

When I was a teenager, my dad told me that you train people how to treat you. The same thing happens in a team with how you respond to challenges. If there’s a challenge in the business and you always hop on your horse and lead the charge, you’re going to train your team to look to you whenever a problem appears. You will advance your capabilities while they stagnate.

This isn’t to say that you nurture growth by tossing people into the deep end and yelling, “Swim or drown!” Rather, it’s that if you’re going to develop your team, you need to restrain the impulse to fix everything and reign in what you contribute.

Start with:

“What are your ideas?”

“What do you suggest?”

“What are the obstacles?”

Featured image is a Moroccan with his Arabian horse along the Barbary coast. By Eugène Delacroix. Used under public domain.