Leadership Rule #1

dropping the ball

Never do for another what they can do for themselves.

Often we see people dropping the ball and we think, “If you want something done you gotta do it yourself,” or, “It’s just faster if I do it for them.” So, we jump in. We figure things out. We solve the problem. This works for us because the task at hand gets done and we get to tick off that box. And getting things done is what we’re good at.

But we then become the bottleneck. We do the work and the others learn to rely on us to get their things done. We burn out and they feel underutilized and undervalued. Yuck.

Instead, let’s apply the rule, “Never do for another what they can do for themselves.” Rather than jumping in, we coach with questions and encouragement. “I am sure you can do this. How will you go about it? How confident and competent do you feel? What do you think you need? Will that solution work completely? What else can you try? What are some milestones and target dates? Who needs to know about this or give input? How can I help?”

The leader’s job is not to do the work but to build the environment and capacity for others to do the work very well.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: vic_uu cc

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