We've all heard (and maybe even said) the common phrase, "If you want something done right, do it yourself."
Leaders who gravitate toward this type of mindset are usually not very effective and don't garner a lot of respect. When this type of attitude comes from the top, it not only says a lot about what a leader thinks about the competency of their team, but it also says quite a bit about the competency of the leader. If you have this type of attitude, here's how it is likely damaging your business and your team.
Lack of Empowerment
To empower your team members, you must give them tasks and allow them to complete the tasks to the best of their ability. Does this mean you can't train them or give them resources to ensure they can complete the job effectively? Of course not. But it does mean that you can't grab the task back from them the second they make a mis-step or don't do it in the way you envisioned. When you take a job back from an employee or don't assign it all because you think you can do it better, you're sending a loud and clear message that you don't trust your people. Not only does this put a big damper on their motivation, but it also creates bitterness and resentment.
Lack of Delegation Skills
If you can't assign tasks and let your team complete them, you have a serious problem with delegation. Inability to delegate is usually a control issue. You might think you're doing it because you have high expectations, but you're really doing it because you want everything done your way and haven't found a way to bring flexibility into your leadership style. While delegating may be one of the most difficult skills for leaders to effectively learn, it's also the most crucial. You are only on person and, unless you're running a one-man show, you simply cannot do it all by yourself.
If you have any hope for growth in your organization, you simply cannot use the 'do it yourself' leadership style. To grow, you need to be able to scale your business. This means off-loading most of the work that is done in your business so you can focus on your business. Sure, you may have started an IT software company because you were a coder with some innovative ideas, but you can't continue to do the coding if you want to grow the company. Scaling is about training and then setting free your employees to do the work you trust them to do.
In a way, being a leader is a bit like stepping off the edge of a cliff, hoping that the parachute strapped to your back will deploy when it needs to. You need to have trust in the processes and people you've put in place or you'll never take that crucial leap, and will end up with a team of bitter employees who will eventually leave.
Trish Cody is an Executive Awareness Coach and Speaker who focuses on optimizing results for business leaders. With over 20 years of experience as a strategic consultant for some of the world's top Fortune 500 companies, Trish Cody has coached and consulted with senior level teams in planning, designing, launching, and measuring the return for major initiatives. As a Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership Practitioner, Trish works with senior level leaders and business owners to raise their levels of self-awareness and create more trust, loyalty and success in their businesses and teams. Contact Trish at firstname.lastname@example.org.