Man trying to move forward but straps are holding him back

March Weekly Leadership Challenges No. 3 – Are You A Career Staller?


Man trying to move forward but straps are holding him backOne of the most common leadership challenges I come across in my Coaching sessions is an inability to let go of the day to day and the detail.  I call these leaders Career Stallers.

Whether it’s CEOs, heads of department or people new to line management, the majority of my Coachees find comfort in the doing rather than the overseeing.

What I regularly see and hear is:

  • A latent fear of somehow handing over your power base – effectively delegating yourself out of a job.
  • A lack of trust – an inherent belief that people will screw up and that you’ll be left carrying the can.
  • A strongly held (and often expressed) view that it’s simply “quicker to do it myself”
  • And the million-dollar question posed, of: “Then what?”

What I then need to subtly get across in my sessions is that the exact opposite is normally true.

  • In delegating tasks to someone else, you free yourself up to add value at the right level – increasing your power base.
  • In empowering others you build up their confidence, competence and commitment so they are less likely to screw up – you build a high-performance team.
  • In continuing to do it yourself because you believe it will be quicker, you’re stuck doing it forever. You don’t move forward and neither does anyone else.
  • And last but by no means least, there will be a million and one better things to with your time when you give yourself the headspace to think about it.

Thus, my leadership challenge to you this week is to let go of the day-to-day. Delegate everything that you possibly can and delegate it effectively; guide, coach and mentor your people but don’t do their jobs for them and, last but by no means least, spend time thinking about where and how you should be adding value at your level and then make it happen.

Stop being a career staller and start becoming a stellar performer with a stellar team.

Click here to read Challenge No 1, The Hard Task Master and Challenge No 2, The Selfless Leader

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