3 Reasons Your Leadership Doesn’t Get the Results You Want
Tell me you’ve had this experience. You assign a task but then forget about it. I sure have. As a leader, I am not a micromanager. That’s good news for my team. But I have to be intentional that delegation doesn’t drift into abdication.
It’s not always disastrous when this happens. If we’ve hired well, our teams bridge the gap and nobody is worse off. But sometimes when assignments fall through the cracks, we create serious problems for ourselves.
Welcome to Season 7, Episode 8 of the This Is Your Life podcast. In this episode, Michele Cushatt and I discuss some of the lessons I learned from a conductor on a recent trip to the Nashville Symphony.
Gail and I were amazed at the beauty and skill demonstrated by the musicians. But what really stood out was the conductor. It didn’t take long for me to begin seeing some clear parallels between conducting an orchestra and other leadership opportunities.
If you’re like a lot of listeners, you work too many hours and need to find some margin in life. Good news! Today we’re talking about seven strategies you can use delegate even if you don’t have a team.
If you’re an entrepreneur at heart like me, it’s tempting to wear every hat in the business. This is especially true if you’re cursed with being halfway good at all those jobs.
Courtesy of iStock/jes2ufoto
That’s not a compliment, by the way. I should emphasize the word cursed. Think of it this way: Would you intentionally hire someone who was halfway good at their job? Of course not. You want people who are fully competent.
And yet it can be hard to let go of those hats, right? But here’s the reality. If you want to wear all the hats, you’ll have to pull out more than a rabbit to be successful.
5 Simple Solutions to Get Back Your Time—and Your Sanity Too
My wife, Gail, recently purchased a DVD set of The Jetsons. Remember that? The cartoon imagined what life would be like in the future: robots, flying cars, and other conveniences—like minimal work hours. But it hasn’t panned out like that, has it?
Courtesy of iStock/Peeter Viisimaa
Believe it or not, since the 1930s economists and others predicted a future where workers had loads of free time. And while work hours have gone down for some, despite what we know about overworking, many of us regularly put in fifty hours a week or more. Professionals with mobile devices clock more than seventy.
The primary reason to delegate is that non-delegation doesn’t scale. It is not sustainable. This is why so many people feel overworked, overwhelmed, and burned out. But there is an even more important reason to delegate: To enable you to focus on what you do best in order to maximize your impact.
One of the most helpful time management principles I’ve ever found is David Allen’s Two-Minute Rule. The basic concept is that you take immediate action on anything that can be done in two minutes or less. This is the key to becoming more productive.
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.
To be an effective leader, you have to become good at delegating. The problem is that what made you successful doesn’t usually scale.
To grow—both personally and organizationally—you have to increasingly focus on those high payoff activities where you add the most value and get rid of everything else. As Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators, once said,
I purposed never to do anything others could or would do when there was so much of importance to be done that others could or would not do.
This is a guest post by Owen McGab Enaohwo. He is the co-founder of SweetProcess, an app that enables you to quickly and easily document how you get repetitive tasks done so that your employees know exactly what to do.