Have you ever wondered how they shot buffalo day after day and the herd never stampeded? Turns out before the buffalo hunters (no pun intended) began their wholesale slaughter they spent several days observing the herd to determine which one was their leader. Once they identified the leader of the herd, they would shoot him first. Why didn’t the buffalo herd stampede? The heard was leaderless and therefore had no one to follow.
The relevance of this is that too many organizations depend too much or solely upon their supervisor/leader. Your responsibility as a supervisor is to create an environment whereby, even in your absence, the organization is fully functional. That does not mean you’re not important. Your contribution is to nurture each of your employees so they clearly know what is expected of them, and that you have confidence they will do the right thing even in your absence. A supervisor’s job is more of a mentor than that of a dictator. Having a title and position do not make you a leader, it just means you’re the boss. One measure of your leadership skills is how well your organization functions without your day-to-day presence. Do they continue at a high level of performance or do they take a day off coasting until your return? The answer to that question tells a lot about your leadership style and how well you have mentored those with whom you work. Being a humble mentor confident in you own skill sets makes you a great leader.