Ppwer Play: Know when to take back control

The most talented Power Players I’ve ever met all know when to step back in and take complete control. They only do this when the whole thing has gone off the rails. They never step in too early or too late.

They also stop themselves from doing the old ‘here’s where you went wrong’ or ‘here’s what you should have done’. They fix the problem, and by doing so they teach by example.

Everyone in the team (by this stage terrified and more than a little bit humiliated) will watch your every move very closely and see what they should have done instead.

A lawyer friend of mine, and one of the most graceful Power Players I’ve come across, put his very talented, experienced and highly paid team to work on a company float without him. At the eleventh hour as they were about to lodge the prospectus, the client picked up a major mistake.

This one key mistake led to a litany of other mistakes. Unsurprisingly the client was livid. No prospectus, no float, no refund for the filing fee to the local stock exchange. Game over. Huge mess.

When alerted to the problem by an apoplectic client, my lawyer friend simply put down the phone. He took a breath. He walked into the ‘war room’ where the team had assembled and said, “We’ve got a big problem with the prospectus. Major sections will need to be redrafted. No one leaves this office tonight. We work around the clock until it is perfect. We divide ourselves into two teams doing the exact same work so that we can cross-check everything we do.”

No angry words, no hissy fit, no finger-pointing from the leader. Just a guy who took back complete control when it was absolutely necessary.

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