I was recently listening to a leadership podcast by Andy Stanley and picked up a couple of good nuggets to pass along. What about?
Delegation and bottlenecks. Because I know all organizations, including credit unions and community banks, struggle in this area. Yes, I’m looking at you…and me.
Let Go of Excuses
So many leaders find it difficult to delegate tasks, projects, approvals, you name it. There are many reasons why: it’s just faster if I do it myself, I know I’ll do it right the first time, we can’t afford a mistake on this one, I don’t have time to train someone right now and so forth.
Who do you think you’re talking to? There isn’t a reason (read: excuse) I haven’t said a million times. More about me: perfectionist? Check. Control freak? Check. First-born syndrome? Ok, this is getting too personal. Back to the nuggets.
Let Go of Small Tasks
Whether you are a senior leader, board member, middle manager, supervisor or jack-of-all-trades at your shop, you’re likely one of those invaluable people that know (and probably built) many of the policies, procedures, practices and platforms that make it go.
As a result, you have a lot of institutional knowledge. People come to you all the time for help, decisions, advice, approvals and yes…tasks. And boy, can you knock each one out of the park!
At one time, it was both natural and necessary for you do be down in the weeds building, creating, doing and approving. You should really ask yourself if that is still the case. Is it still natural and necessary? Where is your impact most valuable to the organization?
Every single person on the team should position themselves to make the greatest impact possible—starting with you.
Let Go of Micromanagement
Some leaders confuse their area of authority with their level of competency. As an example, perhaps you are responsible for multiple departments at your shop. Great! That doesn’t mean you are the most competent person in each discipline.
In fact, you shouldn’t be. Each department should have subject matter experts running things. They’re the experts. Let them execute. Open your door and your mind, listen, provide input when needed, give them reasonable latitude and watch what happens.
Spoiler alert: you'll watch all team members make a greater impact.
Let Others Help You
As I said, I struggled with delegation in my career for several reasons. Two things got me over the hill.
First: the more you take on yourself, the more you become the bottleneck. You’ll also get more overwhelmed, exhausted and burned out. And for what? A task you’ve been doing for years?
Second: I realized all the formative leaders and managers throughout my working life gave me opportunities to learn, to do something new, to try and fail, to try and succeed. I realized holding onto this selfish need to do it “my way” was robbing other people of those same opportunities provided to me.
Shame on me. That knocked me right off the fence into the delegation camp. Overnight, it was exponentially easier.
Make the greatest impact. Find the best way to add value. And do the same for everyone else. Let go. It’s totally worth it. You won’t believe how amazing it feels, and you won’t believe the morale boost it gives the entire team. People want to help you. Let them.
And if you need help even knowing where to start when it comes to delegation, On The Mark Strategies leadership training and executive coaching covers this exact problem. Get ready to change your team dynamic for the better.