I was felled with a nasty bout of bronchitis last week. A “nasty bout” is really understating it; Every time I breathed, it felt like someone was stabbing me in the sternum with a pick axe. When I got done fighting the good fight, My wife took me to the ER. Immediately, I was given a breathing treatment. My wife leaned down and looked me in the eyes. She said “Don’t worry honey. Your team is just fine. You’ve taught them what to do and they are doing exactly what they are supposed to.”
She’s a workaholic manager herself, so these words were appropriately soothing.
But I couldn’t help but think, in between puffs of medicine, how many leaders fail to delegate appropriately. No one can do it exactly the way you want it done, right. They will just mess it up. I will keep them on the periphery instead of being fully transparent so they know where their place is in the pecking order is. You’re acting like the proud peacock strutting with feathers fully brazen. Just be the turtle and crawl back into your shell. You’re doing it all wrong.
Your job as leader is to empower your people, set clear expectations on what is to be done, and then follow up as they do it, keeping them on point and making corrections along the way to remove their roadblocks. If you don’t have faith in your people, why did you hire them? If you don’t have any confidence in the ability of your people, then you need to give them the tools they need to do their job. And I am sure, that if you fail to delegate, that you also have been all up in their junk, micromanaging. You need to stop that too. You got moved into the position as leader not because of the skill set that you have. Rather, you got moved into that position because you have the ability to be the leader the team needs to get the results that the organization expects of you. They don’t expect you to do it all. They expect you to drive the product and hold your people accountable.
I checked in with my team as soon as I got home from the ER. They didn’t miss a beat. That tells me I am doing things the right way. Next time you are out of the office, what about yours?
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