As a consequence leaders must cede control to others, which means that simply working harder to close a given loop is no longer an option. To be clear, I’m not suggesting that leaders themselves don’t work hard or that they should be reluctant to hold others accountable. In my experience they do, and they should. [3] But “hard work” by a leader doesn’t mean “burning more hours” or “focusing intently on the problem.”

Leaders often have the most positive impact when they help build systems where the actions of a few powerful and magnificently skilled people matter least. Perhaps the best way to view leadership is as the task of architecting organizational systems, teams, and cultures–as establishing the conditions and preconditions for others to succeed. [4]


Open Loops (Leadership and Uncertainty)