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As a leader, you likely have some formal role or authority over a person or group of people within your work environment. As such, do you recognize when you are stifling their innovation?

Leaders must take into account the knowledge, skills, and abilities of their subordinates in their daily routines. While having a hand in the development of employees is an essential task of a leader. It can, however, stifle innovation within the organization. Take for example an employee who is performing at or above an acceptable level of performance. Continued intervention within the employee’s progress can stifle their growth. Simply put, at some point, we, as organizational leaders, must stop guiding and directing in such proximity. We must have the self-awareness to take a step back and allow our people to flourish.

Additionally, leaders must be so engaged as to observe a developmental struggle unfold and take action accordingly. If the employee is beginning to fail, intervention is necessary. Failing to intervene and offer guidance before failure can disrupt an employees confidence. As confidence is directly related to commitment, as confidence diminishes, as do commitment levels.

Sometimes, relinquishing control may seem hard to do. Taking a step back and allowing your people to grow in their way can breathe new life into your organization. Additionally, there are indirect consequences including increased buy-in from employees as they feel they have a say in the overall vision of the organization. Other benefits include increased commitment levels to the organization, opened lines of communication and one of the most important things, a succession plan.