How Smart Leaders Avoid Doing Other People’s Jobs
The best leaders are often great teachers. They know how to teach their team members not just how to do their jobs, but how to stay focused on their goals and motivated to achieve them. Sometimes, though, leaders end up investing more time helping their employees than working on their own tasks.
Lolly Daskal, president and CEO of Lead From Within, says it’s important for leaders to maintain a clear view on their own roles and responsibilities, even when fielding multiple requests and questions from their team members. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we highlight tips from Daskal on how leaders can stay grounded and avoid doing people’s jobs for them.
They prioritize what’s important. Focusing on the big picture is one way leaders avoid doing other people’s jobs. Instead of getting distracted by what their sales reps are doing, they focus on what is most important and concentrate their attention there.
They check their emotions at the door. Leaders are humans and feel worry and concern, too. They might worry that people might not do the job as well as they could, or they might question a sales rep’s ability to work with a particular client. However, Daskal says that the best leaders keep their emotions in check and concentrate on their own responsibilities.
They want to learn. Leaders should always listen to their team members, but many of them only listen for an opportunity to jump in and solve a problem. Instead, Daskal says leaders should learn to listen to become better informed. When you know what your team members are facing and the challenges they are up against, you can better support them instead of stepping in to do their jobs for them.
They let go of biases. Daskal notes that leaders with perspective do not allow their own personal experiences and circumstances to obscure their objectivity. They recognize they may have unfairly judged someone’s ability and they work at letting go of those biases because they know they don’t serve the team well.
They do not blow things out of proportion. Mistakes happen. Deadlines get missed. Things fall through the cracks. Leaders with perspective see these circumstances for what they are and do not respond unreasonably.
They have an expansive mindset. According to Daskal, leaders with perspective see the whole rather than fragmented pieces. They make a point of focusing on the big picture and the long-range view.
They avoid making assumptions. Leaders can also avoid doing other people’s jobs by gathering all information before forming a conclusion. Judging or assuming can hurt your ability to lead well and cause you to lose perspective.
Train your sales reps well and then send them on their way. You can answer their questions and check in regularly but be cautious about jumping in to do everyone else’s work. Instead, stay focused on what matters most, watch your emotions and keep the bigger picture in mind. You will end up leading better and creating a stronger workplace for your team.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Lolly Daskal is the president and CEO of Lead From Within, a global consultancy firm specializing in leadership and entrepreneurial development. Daskal also writes for Inc., Fast Company and Psychology Today.