I read an article recently about Lorne Michaels, who's been called (by his own staff, and live at the Emmeys,no less) the "World's Best Boss."
Here's a quote from the interview that I think encapsulates the bold direction that leaders sometimes need to take in order to get the best out of their team:
Creative people respond better when they feel they’ve been heard and had a chance to see how the thing they believed in actually performed.
Here, Lorne is responding to a question about what to do when the team disagrees about what's good. The reason I love this approach is that it relieves the leader of the pressure of ultimate decision-making, and allows the cream to rise to the top. It allows the leader also to demonstrate his faith in the individual members of the team and absolves him (or her! But in this case Lorne is a 'him') of having to be the one to criticize.
Yes, sometimes leadership requires some tough calls, but when the occasion allows for an obvious decision to be made for you, why resort to high-and-mightiness? If the audience doesn't laugh at a joke, you can't argue that it was funny.
Taking advantage of self-determining moments such as these allows for a more balanced and human-centric approach to leadership, which I believe -- and which SNL cast members also believe-- is the very best kind.