When I started out in my career, the key to success was having the right answers. Those who advanced in their careers the quickest were seemingly the ones who had the most answers.
While this is definitely important in some situations—especially when responding to the people you are accountable to—it is not the key to success as a leader. There is something even more important than having the right answers.
I have had over twenty bosses in my career. One was great, most were average, and more than a few were downright terrible. Surprisingly, I learned the most from the bad ones.
The problem is that the bad bosses make you so miserable, sometimes you fail to appreciate how much you are learning. While I wouldn’t want to work for those bosses again, I wouldn’t trade what they taught me—even if it was unintentional.
Remember when you used to actually enjoy blogging, back before it became something you dreaded? Back then, sharing your message was all that mattered, and you couldn’t wait to get the word out, hoping to impact others with your story. But then something got in the way.
Recently, my wife bought me a Labradoodle puppy. I had wanted one ever since my daughter got hers. My grandson named him “Charlie Brown,” since his fur was a beautiful chocolate brown color.
Sitting on the Front Porch with My New Labradoodle, Charlie
Though he was born in January, we didn’t get to meet Charlie until last week. He spent the first eleven weeks at the breeder with his mother and siblings. Then he went straight to a trainer for “Companion Training.” (Yes, we believe in outsourcing!)
Most leaders I know struggle with delegation. They know they should do it, but they just have trouble handing off their work. Why is that?
If you ask them, it’s usually some variation of this:
I don’t delegate because it takes longer to delegate the task than just do it myself.
The truth is, delegation always takes longer—the first couple of times you hand off a task. But it will save you hours, days, and weeks if you hand it off the right way. This requires creating a clearly documented, optimized workflow, and then training someone how to use it.
Are you fielding more requests for your time than you have hours in the day? If so, you’re not alone. The more successful you become as a leader, the more other people will demand of your time. And that’s where the trouble begins.
If you are going to maintain margin for your most important priorities, you have to make some tough decisions about your accessibility. The more successful you are, the less accessible you must become. I wish it were different, but this is just one of the harsh realities of leadership.
We’re about 50 percent short of our goal, Dad.” My oldest daughter, Megan, had just called to brief me on our recent new membership campaign for Platform University. It was day four of an eight-day promotion. My heart sank.
Number of New Memberships by Day
I don’t like missing goals. Our campaign target was to add one thousand new members to the site. Based on previous experience, we should have added five hundred members by the end of the fourth day. We were at 256.