How the hero leader is fooling themselves.
‘No-one does anything properly so I end up doing it all myself.’
‘I’m a control freak and it’s just better to get things done so that they are done correctly.’
‘I know how stuff should be done so it’s easier to just do it.’
‘By the time I pass something to someone else I may as well have done it myself.’
‘If I don’t make decisions then nothing will get done.’
If you recognize yourself in these statements, then you may also admit to finding it hard to hand over tasks, decisions, and projects to others. You may even see yourself as quite the hero, busily multitasking and on-call 24/7. In fact, people are almost left in awe as they watch from the periphery while you juggle tasks and responsibilities like an expert.
The Naive Leader
Yet, there is another perspective of this leadership style to consider. This angle looks upon a leader who does everything themselves as being rather naive. A leader who fails to recognize the potential of others and believes that work won’t get done without them. The indispensable leader who needs to be the provider of all solutions, the mover and shaker, the ultimate achiever.
If you identify this in yourself, it’s not too late to learn how to manage more effectively with a beneficial impact for all. This will be a tougher call than getting the job done. You will need to find in yourself the strength to step aside and allow others to be an integral part of the solution.
Ask yourself how you could let go so that others learn to take on tasks and responsibilities.
The art of delegation, of stepping back, can be difficult. You’ll first need to understand your own ingrained habit of micro-managing – a mindset you have potentially fostered to ensure things are done to your parameters. The challenge now is in setting others up to succeed. You must also allow mistakes, expect change, and accept differences as your team becomes more capable and agile. Provide them with feedback, support their ideas, and open up communication.
Believe in their potential and learn that they don’t need you to hold them as they grow.