Don’t Muscle-It-Up; Lead-It-Forward

July 24, 2017

Lift Your Lead in 200 words*

Don’t Muscle-It-Up
Instead, Lead-It-forward
Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.

All leaders are tempted to use the muscle-it-up approach to growing your business. You push the business forward through your own effort and expertise. It works for a while. Team members serve as personal assistants while you carry forward the bulk of the work.

The muscle-it-up approach produces quick, temporary results. However, there comes a point when you can no longer rely on the muscle of your own expertise and energy to increase the business.

Learn to lead-it-forward. Think of it this way: Rather than playing golf, with team members as your personal caddies, you lead a basketball team where each member is essential to the success of the whole.

I spoke with a man who started his own business. He was an expert in sales. He hired assistants because he needed help but remained the star salesman. Production was up to him. One day he realized that his business could not grow unless empowered his team members. He shared one thought with me that signaled he had entered the leadership zone: “These days, I enjoy helping a team member make the big sale more than making the sale myself.”


*Most people read about 200 words a minute; this article is 204 words.

About the Author:

Dr. Richard Leslie Parrott is a Professor of Education at Trevecca Nazarene University. He teaches classes at the Masters and Doctoral level in Leadership and Research. At Trevecca he is also the Director of C.L.E.A.R. – The Center of Leadership Effectiveness and Renewal.

Comments (2)

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  1. Carlton Harvey says:

    Excellent insight!

  2. KR says:

    What about those managers who use muscle in a bad way? As in forcing fourth a bad decision on their part just so they can show who is boss?