In the last blog we began a discussionof the characteristics of anabolic and catabolic leaders, and how the anabolicleader “leads,” while the catabolic leader “manages.” Another distinction between catabolic andanabolic leaders is that catabolic leaders “delegate,” while anabolic leaders“participate.”
According to Webster’s dictionary, “delegate”means to entrust to the care or management of another; to transfer; to assign;to commit, and “participate” means to partake of; to share in; to receive apart of.
Most of us have been taught thatdelegating is something that we need to do in order to be effective leaders andto get things done. And in fact, thatis true – but anabolic leaders take it a step further. When a catabolic leaderdelegates a task to someone else, the leader, in effect, wipes his or her handsof the task. When an anabolic leaderparticipates in the task with another person, the other person knows that theyare supported and valued while they are doing the work. Participating certainlydoesn’t mean that the leader needs to do all, most, or even any of the work –it implies being available to other people without hesitation. It means thatemployees know that the leader is willing to personally do anything that he orshe asks them to do.
Let’s take a look at an example of this.Imagine the following scenario. A small business owner is expanding from tworetail locations to three. The owner of the company assigns tasks to the keystaff. In Catabolic Company A, the ownergets occasional progress reports, but remains out of the picture until everythingis done, at which point the staff is either praised or reprimanded based onwhat they’ve accomplished. In Anabolic Company B, the owner not only follows upfrequently with the staff, but is also on hand to pitch in and work alongsidethem, letting everyone know that he is part of the team, and that he is willingto do whatever he asks them to do. The staff knows where they are at all stagesof the project, because the leader has been “in the trenches” with them. In which company are the workers more likelyto be engaged and want to do a good job? Which leader is more likely to commandrespect and loyalty, and inspire greatness in others?
Leading from a pedestal is not aseffective as leading by example. This week, how can you show those around youthat you are a participant, not merely a delegator?