Learn to Give Yourself Away


Is your schedule crammed with appointments and things to do, to the point where your days seem to be running together with no end in sight? Like all leaders I have had this same experience, and asked myself how am I going to get all these things done? The only answer is to look at your responsibilities and take another look at your priorities. Sometimes we have been doing things for so long, we can miss the signals that tell us we no longer need to be doing them. It’s time to pass them on to someone else. This will do two things for us; first, it will force us to have someone help us – someone we can add value to. Second, it will lighten our load, give us some breathing room, help us reprioritize our agenda, and rearrange our schedules. Finding the right person is the key to getting the help we need. It’s important to begin with someone of character with a good reputation, someone who is an intentional lifelong learner, regardless of where they are on the learning scale. You’re going to be investing a lot of time in them, which means you can be the influencer in their growth process. Someone Invested In Me You can train them how to think and see things like you do. When I was hired for my first management position, the owner took me under his wing and mentored me in the business and the skills required. I had no previous experience, I wanted to learn, and he saw the opportunity to train me to lead like he would. He took the time to walk me through the process, sharing his thoughts in every area along the way. He was encouraging, allowing me to fail, work through a solution and discussing what I learned from the experience. The time he invested in my development changed the direction of my life. Much of what he taught me thirty years ago, are foundational to what I’m doing today. I now train leaders in the highly relationally way he trained me. This enables me to trust them to think and make many of the same decisions that I would. To be a better leader you must make room for others to grow by allowing them to help you. You must learn to communicate with those around you, create a learning culture within your organization, and intentionally delegate as many tasks as you can. Giving away as much as you can Delegating will certainly challenge your skills in communication, planning, decision making, and problem solving. There is always someone else who can do those things you really no longer need to be doing, and probably are more gifted than you are to do them. Try these four tips to get started:

  1. Select quality people especially since you’re going to have to mentor and motivate them

  2. Verify their skillset and communicate their responsibilities clearly

  3. Give them space to be creative and develop their own styles

  4. Track their progress while giving constructive critiques

Two helpful questions from John C. Maxwell:

Take a look at your delegating style. What are you dumping without development? What are you holding onto that's stealing time from your priorities? If you take time to train your people, you can trust their thinking enough to let them do even the most important tasks well. Then you can use your best energies to do the things you do best.

*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***

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