Steve Carell in The Office
What if Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates or Larry Ellison continued to write software code for their companies instead of taking on the leadership roles to guide their legions of employees? Answer: Facebook, Microsoft, and Oracle would all be small niche companies that only a handful of people would have even heard of.
The CEO that insisted on sitting in on every major client pitch.
The CFO that took off from Thanksgiving to New Year’s to plan the company party.
The COO who still insisted on driving the forklift around to find the best “routes” in the warehouse.
The entrepreneur who wouldn’t hand off client duties because she’s concerned they will feel neglected.
The new President of the company that insisted on carrying a sales territory.Someone that is busy 10 hours a day, with tasks that they have assigned themselves, will not adapt or innovate very much. Click To Tweet
These situations all really happened and they are all duties that could have been easily handed off to others with equal or better results.
Why do we hold onto things?
- “By the time I explain it to you, I could have done it three times myself.”
- “Every time I hand it off to someone, it comes back like a broken boomerang.”
- “No one can do it as well as I can. I have high standards.”
What we think in our minds:
- “If I delegate it, I won’t have anything to do.”
- “I secretly like getting the credit for these things I do really well.”
- “People won’t respect me if I hand it off.”
How we feel when we are holding on to too many responsibilities:
- “I’m frustrated that no one else can make a decision.”
- “I’m stressed out over having to carry the team.”
- “I’m angry that no one is willing to step up or pitch in.”
- “I’m sleep deprived from taking work home with me.”
As a leader, are you effective, or just busy?
Do you have a “daily task list” or do you have a weekly list of objectives?
A thought leader and mentor of mine, Dan Sullivan had a great line, “If you could only get 3 things done this whole week- what would they be that would still make it a success?”
General Stanley McChrystal, JSOC commander and author of Team of Teams, talked about building in “flexibility” so you can adapt and grow. “Someone that is busy 10 hours a day, with tasks that they have assigned themselves, will not adapt or innovate very much.”
- Choose the right people
- Pick people with the capacity, capability, and desire to take on new roles.
- Have a plan and process
- Let them know what is important to you
- Allow for failure and learning
- Hold people accountable for their results, not their process
- Avoid the temptation to make yourself essential to the organization by doing certain things.
- (Like when I was slow to hire sales management at Comm-Works.)
- Leaders should vastly under-task themselves and push things down to subordinates.
- Let go of the guilt that comes from knowing you could do it yourself.
- The reality is, by giving yourself that “white space” on the calendar, you give yourself the ability to adapt to emerging requirements, situations or the ability to innovate. Also to get out and lead.
If you are sincere about leading your company, team or division to new heights, then you need to be dedicated to delegating to others so you can take on the next big challenges ahead of you. At Dynasty Leadership, we have a host of tools that provide you both a map and a process to get the results you have been after for years. Check out the Dynasty Tool Box to learn more.