Effective delegation is not only an issue for aspiring leaders. I have worked with SVPs in their fifties who still struggle with this.
It's obvious: the higher you move on the corporate ladder, the more you have to focus on the big picture. Everyone knows this -- in theory. What gets into the way in practice may be your thinking patterns. Check yourself if any of this sounds familiar to you:
- When I do it myself, I will do it faster
- When I do it myself, I will do it better
- I like things done my way
If you think like this, it is highly likely that you struggle with your own time management. Worse than this, it is likely that you are not developing the people your working with.
Some questions to ponder:
- Do I really trust the people I work with? Do I see them full of potential, or do I see limitations?
- When the result is ok, does it matter how it has been achieved?
- What else might keep me me from letting go?
You may want to keep William McKnight's (3M’s former president and chairman) in mind: "Hire good people, and then leave them alone". Remember also that micromanaging is the worst thing a leader can do!
One of the most difficult transitions for leaders to make is the shift from doing to leading. As a new manager you can get away with holding on to work. Peers and bosses may even admire your willingness to keep “rolling up your sleeves” to execute tactical assignments. But as your responsibilities become more complex, the difference between an effective leader and a super-sized individual contributor with a leader’s title is painfully evident.