I helped a startup CEO put together a job description for himself recently. Here were a few of the bullet points:
Define and defend the culture
Identify and implement crucial decisions
Assist and amplify the efforts of the team
Let's focus on that third one for a moment. How do you actually help someone facing a work challenge? CEO or not, it's the work of leaders to make those around us stronger.
There are at least two major strategies:
Allow the tyranny of the urgent to cause you to do the task for them
Help them expand their capacity and deliver results
One of the best means to assisting someone expand their capacity is to guide their thinking through a series of questions. Try some of these* next time you face a similar challenge:
What's the challenge you're facing?
What have you tried already?
If you could try anything to solve this, what would you try?
And what else?
Which of these options interest you the most?
What are some potential obstacles?
What's one step you could to begin acting on this right away?
Is there any resources you need to get this done?
h/t Warren Berger's The Book of Beautiful Questions for some of the specific questions in this list.