In Action, Change, Leaders

“When dealing with complex transportation issues, the best thing to do is pull up with a cold beer and let somebody else figure it out.” – Anthony Bourdain

Most leaders are swamped.  I can’t remember the last time I met a leader who felt like they had plenty of time to do all the things they wanted to do.  Most of them don’t even feel like they have time to do the bare necessities.

Part of that is the result of the world we live in.  It’s more complicated than ever before, and it changes faster than ever before, and that creates both challenges and opportunities that leaders have to deal with.

Part of that is the nature of most people who end up in leadership roles.  Great leaders tend to see things that could be better, or different, and so they can find a never-ending list of things to keep them busy.  In some ways, they can’t help themselves.

That said, some leaders are especially busy because they think they’re supposed to do everything.  A lot of people seem to think that asking for and/or accepting help is some kind of weakness, or an admission of failure.  Leaders are no exception.  Leaders can get caught up in the idea that in order to prove what great leaders they are, they have to do everything.

The opposite is true.  If you’re truly a great leader, you’ll look for ways to do less.  Great leaders are constantly finding ways to help others succeed.  They understand that every time they do something themselves, they’re taking away a chance for one of the other team members to be successful.

Look at what you do on a daily basis.  How much of it is stuff that only you can do?  If the answer is “all of it”, then you need to work on getting & developing a better team.  If the answer is “not much of it”, then you need to get better at delegating to your team.

I’m not suggesting that building a great team and then letting them be successful is easy, or that if you just snap your fingers you’ll be there.  I’m just suggesting that most leaders need to spend more time figuring out how to run out of things to do.  You may never get there, but the attempt will be worth it.

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