“How to avoid being overworked and feeling overwhelmed.”
Poor leaders find themselves running out of time while their direct reports lack motivation and are running out of productive work. Great leadership is not about your personal production but your team’s production, especially when you are not around.
Delegation and deferring are two of your most important strengths as a leader. Doing them well is a must for providing effective leadership and significant success. Great leaders spend less time “doing” and invest most of their time planning, organizing resources and coaching their team to do the “doing.”
There is a major difference between delegating and deferring. Delegating means you still own some responsibility for the results, deferring means you give the task away without any further responsibility. Great leaders use both and know when and how to use them.
Some warning signs you need to improve your delegating skills:
1. Your in-box is always full with work only YOU can do.
2. Delegated assignments are often incomplete and deadlines missed.
3. Direct reports feel they lack authority, resources and empowerment.
4. You constantly second guess your team members’ decisions.
5. Team morale is low, turnover rates rising and people lack motivation.
6. You frequently intervene in work you previously delegated or deferred.
7. Team members feel unprepared and are not taking full responsibility.
Tips for delegating effectively:
1. Recognize and affirm the capabilities of your team for their assignments.
2. Focus on results, not how tasks should be accomplished.
3. Use delegation to develop the skills of your team members and position them for advancement.
4. Always delegate or defer to the lowest level possible.
5. Explain assignments clearly and provide necessary resources.
6. Provide consistent feedback, emotional support during tough times and celebrate all wins, big or small.
7. Defer more, give away responsibility for results and avoid the comebacks.
Overworked and overwhelmed leaders are leaders who failed to learn how to delegate and defer effectively.
As a result your best people leave you because they are bored, you hold back the development of your good people and your average team members are burned up, or burned out because of trying to do it all.
How are you feeling as you start a new week?