What happens when someone new is put into a management position in a company, with big dreams of how to improve the company? Often we see them quickly grow overwhelmed at all of their roles and responsibilities. They thought they could take on the world, but instead they’re stuck buried under a list of to-dos.
This doesn’t make for a great leader because the overwhelm and stress of someone in management can lower morale for all of the employees.
We also see this with entrepreneurs. They have a clear vision of how to get where they want to go, but then get slaughtered with work from all directions, not knowing what to focus on or how to move forward faster.
In both of the situations, the key to overcoming the overwhelm is learning to delegate by empowering employees.
The reason why managers, leaders and entrepreneurs don’t want to give their responsibilities and roles to another person is due to the mindset that says, “I have to do everything myself if I want to make sure it’s done correctly.”
Here’s the thing…you can get the work done correctly if you train and teach employees effectively on how to manage their role, empowering them to do the job while working independently. This in turn frees up a significant portion of your time shifting from “management” to “oversight.”
This approach still provides you with a significant degree of control over the outcome of the role responsibility but from a supportive fashion rather than a directive fashion. In addition morale of the employee increases naturally and without specific effort because now they are given a role with greater responsibility and autonomy, freeing them to think independently and providing relief from many of the monotonous boring tasks they are likely faced with on a daily basis.
This approach, although logical is not all that common. I recently had a large beverage company come to me with this exact issue. As leaders in middle management positions were retiring, a new generation of middle managers was entering the company and quickly becoming overwhelmed with all of the duties, responsibilities and employee pushback they were receiving. By learning how to more effective delegate their responsibilities, engaging employees in the process and further increasing autonomy, over 80% of the new leaders reported in the first thirty days following our work together that their time had been freed up reducing stress, increasing their time available to focus on strategic issues and improving the morale of their employees.
If you’re having a very similar challenge, I encourage you to think about how you can empower your employees providing more autonomy and support, rather than advice and direction. You’ll find this shift not only evolves your leadership to be more strategic level, but I guarantee you’ll have higher morale and a more productive culture as a result.