Updated: Nov 17, 2022
Before we unpack the 3 phases of empowering delegation, let’s first ask a question.
What will your legacy be as a leader?
Recently I was on a plane to Melbourne and I decided to watch the documentary ‘Amy’ about Amy Winehouse’s life and death. The documentary uses a lot of home footage and interviews to give an insight into Amy’s life as she grew up. It’s obviously tragic to see someone with such raw talent fall apart and unravel due to the pressure of fame and her addictions to drugs and alcohol.
But more disturbing for me was the insight into her relationship with her parents. Amy’s mother really wasn’t there for her when she needed her and a big reason for that was how she never had good parenting modeled to her. Amy’s mother never had a good relationship with her own mother. The most tragic moment in the documentary is when Amy’s friends talk about the first time they tried to get Amy to go to rehab. One of her friends reminisces that there was no guarantee that going to rehab at that point would have made a difference … but it might have. In the end, Amy Winehouse’s death was caused by the fatal combination of bulimia and alcohol poisoning. So why didn’t Amy go to rehab?
Because when everyone else had pleaded with her to go, and she had even reached the point where she had decided to do it … her father told her she didn’t need to go to rehab. Yes. Her own father. She even wrote candidly about it in the song ‘Rehab’ where she sings, “I ain’t got the time and if my daddy thinks I’m fine … I won’t go, go, go.” And to make things worse, according to the documentary her father might have had financial reasons to discourage Amy from going to rehab. She was already famous at this point and after being off the radar for most of her childhood, he had reappeared and was now very involved with his daughter and her career. If she went off to rehab for a couple of months, that would mean cancelling shows and losing money.
It got me thinking, how important is parenting? I closed my eyes as the weight of Amy’s father’s failure as a dad hit me. Could he have potentially played a part in the untimely death of his own daughter because of his own selfish greed? To a lesser extent, could Amy’s mother and grandmother have played a part in her demise through their parenting? I’m not suggesting her parents and grandmother are completely responsible for Amy Winehouse’s death, but they definitely played a part.
For Amy’s father, mother and grandmother, Amy’s tragic death is part of their legacy. We get this intuitively with family - that children and grandchildren are a parent’s legacy. So if it’s true in family why isn’t it true in leadership? Where our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are our family legacy, maybe our 2IC, the young leader we mentor or the CEO we coach - maybe they’re our legacy as leaders? If this is true, then how important is leadership? Crucial.
I don’t have the answer for good parenting, but I can say that in leadership how well we empower and delegate to people will play a massive part in determining the legacy that we leave. This is why solving the problem of having too much to do isn’t the main benefit of the 3 phases of empowering delegation. The more important problem that this solves is to do with your legacy.
So what will your legacy be as a leader?
(The 3 Phases of Empowering Delegation - Part 3 is coming soon)