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If you saw that title and immediately thought “Well, sign me UP!” then I suspect you have more than one or two things on your “Leaders List of Things To-Do”. Ha! How DO you manage it all and how do you manage your expectations of getting it all done? While it would be nice for science to work on finding a way to give us another arm or two or even more hours of the day, it’s likely not happening in our lifetime and without that as an option, let’s talk about the many tasks in your day and how much of the expectations you have of yourself completing them all, rubs off on those you lead.
Most successful leaders accomplish an enormous amount of work in a day. They may even get that label of “workaholic”, but when they expect that also of those they lead, it can turn into micromanagement and an overbearing type of leadership that is still contagious, but may not serve you well. Here are some of the key behaviors to look out for to make sure you are still driving productivity, but not driving your team members crazy!
Assess Their Natural Abilities
We talk often of personality types in the training courses provided by Contagious Companies and it is usually an in depth conversation about Emotional Intelligence. How intelligent or aware are you about the natural gifts, skills, and talents of those you lead? If you are a hard driving, get it done, always working kind of leader and you enjoy that pace, are you sure that those you lead share that same joy in constantly accomplishing tasks or are they more people oriented? Is their sense of urgency around getting things done at super-sonic speed or around making sure the needs of their teammates or customers are met and that everyone is getting along and happy? Just looking at those differences may cause you to change some of your expectations and thus reduce your stress if they are in fact, different from you in how they perform.
Check in Often
Some managers make the mistake of masterfully delegating and then forgetting to follow up, provide clear expectations or the necessary resources to get the job done. They might also over-delegate and overload someone’s plate without realizing that what they’ve asked of that person cannot possibly get done in the time frame requested. This can be avoided by scheduling regularly check in calls. Not only will it help you, the leader, stay on track and in touch, but it will also proactively head off the contagious effect of an overwhelmed and over stressed team.
Let Things Flow
There is a natural order it seems to almost everything and that includes the things on your list and that you assign to others. And while sitting on the couch eating “bon-bons” while only thinking about how productive you could be is not likely going to bring you success, fretting, fussing, pushing, yelling or staying “wrapped around the axle” about why stuff is not getting done in your time frame, isn’t either. Time and time again I have found that something that has sat on my list for longer than I’d like, worked best whenever I managed to get it done and that if I’d forced myself to do it sooner, it wouldn’t have worked out as well. Let things flow while keeping an eye on what you know is important and urgent and releasing some of the anxiety about those others things that you suspect there might be a reason for a delay…even if you can’t see the reason just yet. This flow, incidentally, will also help you connect more with those you lead as they will perceive you to be slightly more relaxed and be less fearful of your reaction should there be an unexpected delay.
When we stay stressed about our items “to get done” this can turn into a need to hover over or micromanage the living dickens out of those we lead. There are, in fact, only two types of people who need micromanagement and everybody is NOT one of those types. Hehe! Here’s a quick video on the two types and the value of micromanaging, just a bonus for you this week. Leaders Micromanage Only Those Who Need It…
Science breakthrough or not, you can do this! You can get your work done and lead those who also work with you…well! Tell us how you’re doing it! We want to hear from you so tweet me @monicawofford or send me a message on LinkedIn and let’s keep up the connection! Also, if you know someone to whom this particular MondayMoment would be most helpful, forward it to them or suggest they sign up at www.MondayMoment.com.