Don’t Be a Bottleneck
If a matter is not a decision for the President or you, delegate it. Force responsibility down and out. Find problem areas, add structure and delegate. The pressure is to do the reverse. Resist it. -DONALD RUMSFELD
Quicker Question Answering
Great leaders take the time to respond to their team with answers that are both quick and well thought out. Otherwise, the team grows weary of waiting on an answer. Our family, co-workers, and team members deserve better, so let’s not slow them down from doing the job we have assigned them to do. How many times do we ask someone to do a job, then we (usually unintentionally) delay making the decisions that would allow them to complete the job? We asked them to do it, we’re paying them to do it, but we’re not letting them do it! Isn’t that ironic? Too often, we are the bottleneck of our organization. It is more often than not the leader’s fault, not the team member’s.We need to prioritize our own work schedule to keep others efficient and effective with their time. If we don’t have the time to give people a response, we need to delegate more of our decisions to others.
Asleep at the Wheel
It drives me crazy when another driver chooses to drive slowly in the left lane, especially when there is another slower driver in the right lane going the exact same speed. Now, I don’t mind if people want to drive slowly, but please don’t hold the rest of us back just because you can or are not paying attention. This is applicable both in driving cars and in business. Many of us do this without even thinking or paying attention; we become that “driver in the left lane with the left blinker that has been on for the last 20 minutes.” This is terribly inconsiderate, and most leaders don’t even realize it until team members start quitting in significant numbers. If we as leaders can’t keep pace with others, then we owe it to the group to either speed up by increasing our efficiency or decreasing our procrastination. If we can do neither, then we must pull over, metaphorically speaking, by either delegating better or letting others lead. It is the only sane thing to do for the group.
The Bottom Line
Please lead, follow, or get out of the way and let those closest to the situation make the final call.
Born a Hoosier, raised an Okie, and currently residing in the Frozen Tundra of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Miles Anthony Smith, a Gen X’er leader, cares enough about organizational health to make the tough decisions, hire and coach the right people, set clear expectations, develop a strong team culture, and strengthen organizational cash flow, exhibiting both humility and fierce resolve. His mission in life is “To Chart the Course, Pave the Pathway, and Light the Lane for Others to Eclipse My Own Success in Leadership.”
He’s the author of the new book Why Leadership Sucks: Fundamentals of Level 5 Leadership and Servant Leadership.