Michael has been in the industry for the past fifteen years and working for his present employer the past three. In addition to a degree in finance, he’s earned a master’s in leadership development. As he’s worked with his team and observed what goes on in the rest of the organization, he’s become impatient to implement some basic ideas that he’s sure will improve morale and the sense of collegiality among his coworkers. None of it is rocket science, just common sense strategies that’s he learned to put a name to in graduate school.
But he doesn’t have the time. The number of decisions he’s compelled to make continues to grow. The technology that’s supposed to save time adds a layer of learning and process because of continual software updates. Then there are the new young professionals who seem capable but afraid to act without specific direction. There are days when he goes home thinking he’s worked his tail off and not accomplished anything. “I’m supposed to be a leader,” he thinks, “but I don’t have time lead with all these management responsibilities.”
Does this sound familiar? You’re not alone. Too many of the decisions we make today have nothing to do with moving the organization forward. Instead, we become mired in a bureaucratic stew of compliance, most of it well-intentioned, but a tremendous time and decision suck nonetheless. Is it any wonder that every survey of worker engagement paints a bleak picture? This is especially true for those who are hired for their leadership strengths and end up as managers.
So what to do? I could give you a list of strategies, but that would just add to your burden. So how about trying something simple? Delegate one task this week to someone who should probably be doing it anyway. That’s what the best decision makers do. There is no more essential resource than time. I’m not talking about time to get more things done. I’m talking about time to think through the most important decisions, the ones that can make or break your success and the success of those around you. You know what they are.
Once you have successfully delegated the first task, try it with another. Wait until later in the month, however. Why? First, because you want to make sure the first delegation sticks. Second, because you don’t want the delegation of tasks to become another task! Even if you delegate two tiny tasks a month, you will have rid yourself of twenty six of these time sucks over the course of a year. So take five minutes right now. Identify the one task you’ll delegate this week. Whaddya say?