Leaders have got to get better at delegating.
Intentional leadership takes time, and there are already plenty of demands on the 24 hours we have. Our jobs certainly aren’t getting easier, and I’m betting that most of your day isn’t consumed by core leadership tasks like motivating, developing and mentoring.
So, how much of your job as a leader should you delegate? I would argue almost none of it, since leading more effectively will bring the most benefit to both your people and your organization.
On the other hand, when it comes to management tasks, I think you should delegate virtually everything that someone else can do. This is how I learned it:
The Unicorn of Continuous Improvement
— Two steps forward, two steps back…
Continuous Improvement… the unicorn of any contact center.
Yeah, I know. Continuous Improvement is the wonder child of any measurement-driven organization. The Holy Grail. It’s how we make incremental improvements over time, increasing our productivity, effectiveness and profitability. “It’s what we do.” So, hear me out before you go all “what’s this unicorn crap?” on me.
Thought I’d keep it light this month. It’s possible someone told me I’d been a little preachy lately… but what do they know?
How do you know you’re leading? What do you measure? What do you look for?
Consulting the great Google oracle, it looks like 73,300,000 people already know and have written about it. (Heaven forbid the Google breaks; how will I ever conduct my research?)
Since I didn’t see what I was looking for, I thought I’d share a couple of lessons I learned about a decade ago, shortly after I’d taken command of a few hundred motivated and talented Airmen and was voluntold at the last minute that I would be leading the entire wing on its monthly run.
Disclaimer: I hate running.
… never mind, I already know.
I’m gonna try to keep this upbeat, but the underlying issue is sad… and oh so preventable.
So many of your employees have these 8-track tapes running in their head that say things like “what’s wrong with me?” “I screwed it up, again” and “I’ll never get this right.” That’s because all they ever seem to hear about is what they messed up, what they’re doing wrong, and what they’re not doing fast enough.
You might hear it fairly often, too, but this isn’t about you.
… what’s dragging your team down?
Last week, I had a great conversation with an old boss (and friend) of mine who’s known me for 3+ decades. As I was standing in the lobby of his building, I read the press release about his being named as CEO of the Year by the local business journal.
In the interview for the article, he was asked “What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in business, and what can we learn from it?” His answer, “My biggest mistakes have been not to get rid of a few sub-standard employees fast enough — those who have a corrosive or detrimental effect on good employees,” got me to thinking about some of my clients who just can’t seem to bring themselves to let people go.
—aka: Communication for Dummies
Sometimes, I just plain suck at communicating effectively. If you doubt me, ask my wife, my girls, my best friend Kevin, or any of the bosses I’ve worked for in the last 40 years.
If you take a quick minute to reflect, you probably suck sometimes, too.
This has been on my heart lately because I’ve run into a rash of people who believe their team is singing off the same page when they’re not even in the same hymnal. Or maybe it’s the Christmas Crazies, I don’t know, but I keep encountering messages sent that are definitely not the messages received.
So, you ask, if I help clients communicate more effectively for a living, why do I suck at it so often?
Same reason you do. (more…)