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Good morning and Happy Monday. I’m Monica Wofford and this is your Monday Moment.
Those promoted into leadership were often the very same people who were good at getting the job done on the front line. However, when you get promoted, unless someone tells you otherwise, you might not consciously recognize that you no longer will have the time nor be directly responsible for all that “doing” of the day to day job. But, this is where many managers get stuck.
Leading and doing are two different things to be sure, but how do you transition from doing the actual front line work yourself to a position of teaching others how to do it, sharing the expectations of what you want it to look like when it’s done, and avoiding the temptation to be intimately involved in the process? Well, I think I just mentioned three steps that we need to expand upon.
First, when teaching members of the team you lead how to do something you used to do, it is first necessary to spend some time remembering the steps.
If you were really good at that task, you no longer remember the steps and it then becomes very difficult to teach. Remember, “oh, you know, just do it.” are not detailed instructions and will set an employee up for failure if you meant to be more step by step specific, but weren’t.
Secondly, determine what your expectations are for the completion of the task or project. The truth is that the way you used to do it is likely not the only way for it to be done and the real bottom line important part is that it gets done, right? So once you think of the steps, determine what your final outcome expectations are and then let the employee follow the steps that work well for him or her and focus your efforts and energy on the outcome.
And finally, avoid the temptation to be intimately involved in the process. Another way to say this? Quit micromanaging the living dickens out of HOW something gets done and focus on your new role, which is the leadership of the team and its results. With a team of people to lead, you likely no longer have time to do the day to day logistics of each person’s task, and certainly don’t have time to do it with the same singular focus you had when you were only in charge of you. So, let go of the need to do it all and any given moment and show the employees you have asked to do this project that you trust their ability to do it or learn from any mistakes they might make along the way.
Our behavior, whether in leadership of others or not, is always contagious and if you try to do everything that members of the team you lead are supposed to be doing, this type of mindset and action rubs off on them. You will be breeding a team of future micromanaging leaders. If instead you show them the task, make your expectations known, and back off a little, you will be developing the very initiative, creativity, ambition, and results that you really want. Leadership is a different skill than doing and in fact, it’s a key component of Contagious Leadership training.
I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great Monday and of course, stay contagious!