5. Thinking “Only I Can Do This.” So there you are, facing a big complex project or initiative and saying to yourself “If I delegate this, they will screw it up. No way I’m going to let that happen. I’ll just have to do it myself.” If this is familiar to you, you are not alone. This mindset is the reason that a large percentage of managers are stressed out, over worked and under-performing in their careers. The truth is, you are NOT the only one who can do this and the sooner you accept that the sooner you can start doing your real job: developing others.
When you see that something big needs to be done, call your people together and say something like this:
“Team, thanks for coming. We are facing a BIG challenge here. Parts of it are even new to me. I admit we are under some time pressure as well as financial pressure. I need your help because I know I can’t do this alone. I want to hear from each of you in the next 48 hours how you think you could help with this, what role you would like to play. I’ll be speaking to each of you individually to get your ideas and perspectives. I’m looking forward to your support and you can count on me to stay connected and support you all the way. This can be a case study for our success as a team.”
If you start operating this way by inviting others to an opportunity, you will start to discover the real magic of delegating effectively. You no longer have to be the smartest person in the room. People will want to help. People feel honored to be invited and feel motivate. They will trust you and give you their best ideas and best efforts.
Why? Because you discarded your old ‘I’ perspective and adopted a new ‘We’ perspective. Because you admitted that your old “only I can do this” attitude is the ego-driven mindset of the sole technician and that the new path to your success lies in your commitment to developing others, trusting them, supporting them, rolling up your own sleeves when needed and giving credit to others when credit is due.
Bottom Line: About 80% or your success as a manager or leader lies in your ability to effectively delegate large chunks of responsibility to others. If you want to be seen as an outstanding manager, set your goal to become an outstanding delegator. This is your biggest growth opportunity, your chance to find a “new way of being important”---by becoming a coach that consistently develops others.