4 Ways to Work Less
Ego causes leaders to over-estimate their own talent and underestimate the talent of others.
Ego makes leaders over-manage and under-lead.
4 ways to work less:
Don’t ask, “What can I do?”
- Who can help?
- Who knows?
- Who has energy?
- Who believes in our vision?
- Who is under-utilized?
- Who has ideas?
- Who can do what I can’t do?
- Who can do what I’m doing 80% as good as I do it?
- Who is more talented than I am? (If you can’t think of anyone, you’re confused.)
- Who looks at things differently?
The answer to overwork is “who” not “what”.
Develop talented people and expect them to contribute more. That’s not being lazy. That’s the work of leadership.
Successful leaders maximize the talent of others.
Great talent likes to know the goal. Tell them where you’re going. Talent doesn’t like being told what to do. Ask them how to achieve the goal.
Point the way, then get out of the way. The inability to get out of the way means you’re in the way.
- Inspire shared vision.
- Ask them how to accomplish the vision.
- Develop plans, goals, and objectives.
- Establish authority and accountability.
- Get out of the way.
Once you identify a “who”, they’re going to say things that feel uncomfortable. Listen! They’ll take you places you hadn’t imagined.
Listen most deeply to the uncomfortable things. A comfortable message solidifies the status quo; an uncomfortable disrupts it.
Leaders are disrupters.
12 things to do with a new “Who”:
- Become their partner, not their boss.
- Coach them, don’t manage them.
- Maximize their talent and quirks.
- Don’t make them like everyone else.
- Run interference for them.
- Celebrate their successes.
- Learn from their mistakes.
- Don’t compete with them.
- Require them to honor others.
- Expect them to work hard and deliver great results.
- Give them constant feedback.
- Give them more authority as they act responsibly.
What suggestions do you have for over-worked leaders?
Dan, good stuff as always! What suggestions do you have for over-worked leaders?
Learn to delegate and trust! Understand what you do well and stick to it!
Realize what others do well and let them run with the ball!
Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself as well as others for growth and opportunity!
Thanks Tim. Great addition. Delegate and trust is a great word.
I like #4 … “Listen most deeply to the uncomfortable things. A comfortable message solidifies the status quo; an uncomfortable disrupts it.”
Thanks Michael. I like it too. But, it’s still a challenge. 🙂
Great article! I will share with my executive coaching clients!
Thanks Therese. Best for the journey.
I really like the perspective you share in this article Dan. So many managers overwork without considering that there may be a better way. Your post is an encouraging nudge to step back and think. The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan is a book that I often recommend for overloaded managers. Of course, a big thumbs-up for #2 on your list too! Coach them 🙂
Thanks Cathy. I respect your encouragement. Thanks for the recommendation of The One Thing. Best
Dan, this is an absolute “home-run”!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for your insight!!! Howie
Thanks Howie. Much appreciated.
yes – should go to bed 😉
Suggestion for over worked leaders is – learn the art of delegation which is much more than just handing over to subordinate
Fantastic insight. You so succintly listed down the true mission of leadership.
Perhaps it should be ‘Develop talented people and EMPOWER them to contribute more’
Just caught up with this – am a former school headteacher, now a leadership consultant, in the UK. Really like it. Makes me think of the Harry S Truman quote that there’s no limit to what can be achieved if you don’t care who gets the credit. And of a UK headteacher who says, “It’s not about my idea, it’s about the best idea, and the best idea could come from anywhere in the school”. It’s the leader’s job to ensure the climate in created within which that idea can be articulated, communicated, valued and made use of!