The most important skill in leadership

by Daniel Batten on February 19, 2010

Here’s a clue:

When you were a kid and someone asked you “if you could have 3 wishes, what would they be?” were you the smart-alec that said “I wish I could have unlimited wishes”?

So imagine I’m a genie (a stretch I know, but I am green in a kind of post-climate change sort of a way)… and I say “what is the one skill you want in business?” what would you say? That’s right – the skill to be able to generate any other skill you need.

And what is that skill called ? Delegation.

That’s right – not inspiration, not leadership, not courage, not business acumen – all of these things help, but none of them are essential. No leaders have anything in common whatsoever apart from this. Some are rebellious mavericks (Richard Branson), some are conservative and methodical (Warren Buffet). Some are innovators (Steve Jobs). Others are expert mimickers (Bill Gates). Some rule through fear, others rule through love. Some are technical experts, others are marketing experts. But they all have one thing in common. They all know how to delegate.

Average leaders fail because they think they are great. Great leaders recognize where they are average. Great leaders see the are gaping holes in their greatness and delegate around these gaps.

If you want to cultivate one skill and one skill only, the master-wish that makes all other wishes redundant, then become an expert delegator.

Leave a Comment