I bet you weren’t expecting this title in a leadership blog, but the truth is that leaders can’t do it all.
I’ve had a few coworkers (and I bet you have too) who want to be the “super employee”. Even though they have tons of things already on their plate, they always say they can add more to it. Eventually, their work days are spent coming in early and working late—all while accepting more tasks to add to their never-ending list.
They think continually overworking themselves will get them into a position of leadership because they are constantly “burning the midnight oil.” (Note: I am fully aware that some organizations are understaffed and overworked. I’m talking about the people who would take on every task regardless.)
On the surface, this sounds like an ideal employee to promote. However, these types of employees possess traits that are completely contradictory to those of a good leader. They apparently can’t say no, they have bad time management, and they don’t know how to delegate tasks.
It’s not the job of a leader to be Superman. That’s unrealistic and virtually impossible.
Great leaders aren’t always the ones who “do it all” and take on every duty there is. Great leaders know their own strengths and weaknesses and build a team that can complement or make up for those qualities.
That means knowing what you can and can’t handle and trusting someone else more knowledgeable to take care of the things you can’t handle.
Ron Holifield, CEO of Strategic Government Resources, actually taught me this by example. He’s not afraid to say, “I have no idea what this means, but I trust that you do,” or “Can you research this and make a decision based on your knowledge?”
No micromanaging… no second-guessing… no trying to handle everything on his own—just trusting the people on his team. And when you trust your team, they’re more comfortable to do their job to the best of their ability.
Think differently about what it means to lead.
Build a team you trust, and trust the team to do what they were hired to do. Then, you’ll have the time and clarity to look at the big picture and steer your crew into the right direction.