You may have heard the phrase “Leaders: don’t try to do everything—you’ll end up accomplishing nothing.” This old saying seems like a common sense piece of advice, but it is actually not as straightforward as one might think. The concept behind this adage is that if you are trying to be all things or lead in multiple areas, then you will never complete any given task with your highest level of efficiency and quality possible.
Leadership is solving problems. Colin Powell was a great leader and he knew that he couldn’t do everything by himself. He had to delegate some of his tasks so that he could focus on the bigger picture.
The most difficult lesson for a leader to learn is when to delegate authority. The strain of being in control may lead people to believe that they must be god’s gift to everyone and everything. That pressure may sometimes trap them in cycles of hyper-management in order to show to their workers that they are deserving of their position.
As a result, they go about the workplace continuously checking on people, instructing them how to do things, and giving advice even when it isn’t requested. They take on a lot of work that they won’t be able to do in time. They fix everyone’s issues for them, leaving them with nothing to find out on their own.
If this is your management style, you may believe you are a wonderful boss. However, as odd as it may seem, becoming overly engaged in your workers’ everyday routines and responsibilities may lead to a hostile and unproductive work atmosphere.
I may not be the CEO of a Fortune 500 business or the creator of a hot tech startup, but during my year as editor-in-chief of my undergraduate newspaper, I learned this lesson. And I had to learn the hard way.
Insecure and fresh-faced
I wanted to show to everyone on my 40-person team that I was a superb manager and problem solver as a young and squirmy leader in the most important position of my early career. My lack of an impartial journalistic position in the newsroom and (now improved) badly underdeveloped sense of timeliness didn’t help, since there was already a lot of strain on me.
What’s my remedy to my issue? I would constantly go throughout the newsroom, inquiring as to what was going on. Even though I lacked the necessary abilities to supervise late-night production, I would labor late nights to get the paper out. I’d do everything I could to make it clear that I was the boss and that I was available to help if there was a problem – even if I didn’t know how.
I tried to be all things to all people. And I tried my hand at everything, despite the fact that I had never specialized in anything. I was wasting my time as the newsroom’s leader by doing a lot of things that might have been done better by someone else.
I could have been creating some of our larger, overarching changes and working with editors on longer-form projects while I was going around trying to assist workers do everything.
I could have left the editing to better-trained workers and spent more time on how I might assist students get really excellent internships while attempting to edit the paper and manage newsroom operations.
It is never a leader’s job to perform other people’s jobs or to be all-knowing. Rather, a leader’s job is to ensure that workers have the resources they need to accomplish their duties and to keep them responsible to the company. Hyper-management is a symptom of insecurity, and unjustified uneasiness undermines a productive workplace.
A transformation for the better
I saw a shift in the newsroom atmosphere as soon as I started assigning duties to individuals who were trained to perform them, and as soon as I implemented the internal policy of “leave people alone until there is a problem or query.”
Many workers started to trust their own intuition rather than waiting for instruction. The newsroom’s desk commanders believed they had enough authority to create their own team subcultures. Because I made it a larger part of my work to create major series and news initiatives with the team, they were conceived and executed.
Everything seemed to make more sense in the end. I was able to concentrate on the employee experience and larger problems while the managing editor and desk editors took care of the day-to-day operations.
Be truthful to yourself.
Face it: You aren’t the Renaissance man or woman you imagine yourself to be. There just isn’t enough of you to distribute over every area of your company, regardless of your status or position. Your workers are here to work hard and contribute to the growth of your company, and it is your responsibility to ensure that they have everything they need.
However, attempting to be everything to everyone does not help anyone.
Watch This Video-
“Colin Powell quotes on decision making” is a blog post that discusses the importance of not trying to do everything, but instead focusing on one thing. This quote was said by Colin Powell in an interview with The Atlantic. Reference: colin powell quotes on decision making.
- colin powell quotes
- colin powell leadership quotes
- colin powell quotes 2020
- colin powell leadership quotes pdf
- what do you expect from your team members