If the essence of management is accomplishing objectives through others then this should be the Golden Rule of managers everywhere: What can I do to help you be more effective? I personally have always put this thought in a slightly different way: What obstacles can I remove to help you accomplish what you need to do to be successful?
Whichever sentence you prefer, the sentiment is still the same. Managers (and leaders) only succeed when they are able to accomplish work through others, which means that they need to be primarily focused on making their employees more effective. In order to do this, managers need to proactively look for ways to remove obstacles but they also need to create an environment of trust so that their staff feels comfortable asking for help.
Asking for help is difficult for most of us (me included). Especially in America, where we pride ourselves on pulling on boot straps, it’s difficult to raise your hand and admit that you cannot handle something on your own. It’s through this very action, however, that teams become stronger and truly more than the sum of their respective parts.
Managers and leaders (the good ones, anyway) know that the higher within an organization they rise, the less actual work they do personally. They recognize that they are only as good as the teams that support them and, because of that, should spend a large portion of their time making the jobs of their employees easier.
What is the one thing you can do today to help your team be more efficient through the removal of an obstacle?