Let’s be real, there’s only so much that one person can do. The problem is that there are only 24 hours in a day. There comes a point where you hit your capacity. You aren't able to do all the things you want to do, because you're doing them all! You can either accept these limitations, or you can expand beyond your own capacity by choosing to lead through others.
There are only so many hours in the day, so make sure your time is being utilized in things only you can do. In the book Think Differently Lead Differently, author Bob Hamp talks about using your time doing the things that only YOU can do. Why input data, when you should be following up on some important leads? There are always small things that need taking care of every day. Don't let the small things become so cumbersome that you aren’t able to be an effective you.
Being a leader means there are things that only you can do. Yet all too often, leaders are too busy doing things that someone else on the team could (and often should) be doing! If you want to rise up to the next level of leadership, delegating responsibility is crucial. I believe it’s a choice to not lead through others. It only takes a change in mindset to become an executive, manager, or pastor who leads through others.
I believe it’s a choice to not lead through others.
We often choose not to lead through others because we fear we aren’t busy enough. If we are constantly busy, we are needed to keep our job because there’s work to be done and you are the one doing it. This can lead to a void of margin, and imbalance in our work/life relationship. Not having any margin isn't a healthy way to live your life.
In order to fill your time with the things only you can do, you must embrace the art of delegation. You need to give work away and empower your team. Empowering others is also the perfect way to make a team if you don't have one yet!
There are people that have a gifting or skill set that would help you accomplish your goals. By refusing to let them help, not only are you limiting your own capacity, but you're denying them a chance to exercise their gifts. Not allowing them to grow in their talents or thrive in their passions can stunt their personal growth as a leader. Building an effective team to lead through doesn’t have to be difficult. Just determine what things need to get done that you can delegate out.
Next, find the people who match up with the necessary skill and ask them to be on your team. You have to communicate both the value and vision of the goal. If you communicate the value and vision of what they're doing, you can ignite drive in them that cannot be stopped! The task is what they're doing, but when you bring them in to be a part of something bigger than themselves, they will be on board and ready to help!
Once you have a team of people committed to helping out, you have to train them. Taking the time to train someone in can remove unneeded workload, and save you time in the long run. You're afraid that since you would no longer be the only one who knows how to do something you'd become replaceable. On the contrary, you are irreplaceable because you have proven that you can raise up and train someone else to do a task. Doing this is way more valuable to an organization than just being a doer. You’ve become a leader!
Once you begin to offload tasks, you must avoid the temptation to micromanage. Most people say they aren't micromanagers, but they are often guilty of unhealthy management practices. Be confident in their ability, you need to trust that they know what they are doing. If you are constantly checking in with them or undermining their input, these people will leave your team as fast as they got there. Some may mentally check out, or just let you get back to where you were before— doing all the work. We have to fail at times, it’s the only way we can grow. Resist the urge to have your hands too involved in these tasks. Don’t be overbearing, but if they ask for help, give it to them!
Leadership guru John Maxwell says, “A leader who produces other leaders multiplies their influence.” As someone committing to leading through others, you can train them to build teams and become leaders themselves. There’s nowhere to go but up for someone who can reproduce themselves through others. Now get out there, tackle your fears and raise up your team!