I was in my mid thirty’s and I was acting CEO for 18 months in a difficult time for the company.

The business had lost a major supplier which was going to lower our turnover significantly. As a consequence of this I was heading into a meeting with one of our suppliers with one of our product management team to let them know we were still in a strong trading position. I recall walking into the meeting with Rebecca as she turned to me and asked me a question….

“What do you think we should say to them Andrew”?
I turned to her and said, “I don’t know, what do you think we should say”? (because I really didn’t have any idea what we should say being new to this business)
She said, “I think we should say this”….and so that became our plan and it was a really successful meeting.

Years later Rebecca came to me and said "you remember that meeting we went into Andrew where you asked me what we should say"? I responded with a really clear yes. She said to me that was the most empowering thing anyone has ever done for me in my working life because I was able to decide for myself and you gave me confidence.

It reminded me that as leaders we don’t always need to ‘lead’ or ‘be in control’ of situations. Allowing everyone to succeed and fail on their own at times is one of life’s greatest lessons.