One of the job functions and responsibilities of any good leader is to remove obstacles in the path of their staff and employees.
The hardest truth is that sometimes the leader is the obstacle and is in the direct path of progress.
This doesn’t mean that it’s a systemic or consistent issue but sometimes the problem materializes in waves, at certain points in product development, or even seasonally.
Or, in the worst-case scenarios, the boss is the problem always. In that case, they should be removed entirely or they should be given help (and some serious coaching) on how to become a better functioning part of the team.
My goal has always been to remove myself as a fundamental part of the equation to production as I possibly could, as soon as I could, so that the great people that I hired and work with could do their very best work without me getting in the way.
This took a long time for me to learn and is something that I think most leaders struggle with. It’s not something built-in natively to most of us, it’s just something that we have to learn over time as we trip and stumble over ourselves.
Sometimes we need to learn this the hard way, losing a couple of key employees or having our entire product or even business fall apart. Some of us just have to walk through the fire to get a clue, and I can raise my hand to that on more than a few occasions! Self-awareness is a really tough thing to develop.
Remove obstacles for your team, for your staff, and by doing so you’ll remove obstacles for yourself as well. Imagine that.