You’re a leader running a business unit, a function, or an entire organization. You know that your job is to put the right people in the right roles, and then create the environment that allows them to do their best work.

In this capacity you have plenty of work to do yourself: setting strategy, hiring and firing, coaching and development, obtaining necessary resources, making certain decisions while delegating others, and embodying the culture you wish to foster.

But as a leader there is also work you must not do, and if you’re like many of my clients, it can be very difficult to stop doing it. In my practice I typically see leaders struggling with this in one of two forms:

  • Work that’s a misguided effort to ease anxiety.
  • Work that you once did, still love, and miss doing.

In all cases this work is now someone else’s responsibility, but it’s very tempting to stay involved–and because you’re the leader, very few people will be bold enough to tell you to back off. And yet if you don’t check yourself, bad things will happen.

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