Whether you are a high-level executive or a new manager working your way up the corporate ladder, you are likely being pulled in many different directions. This means that you have to be thoughtful about how, when, and in whom you are investing your time and energy. In order to keep the team and operation running smoothly, you may have to Pause and make time and energy investments that you don’t always feel like you have. However, by prioritizing and giving yourself permission to make these micro-investments in the short term, you stand to maximize productivity in the long-term.
The most critical time and energy investment you can make as a manager is to groom and coach the team members that you manage. It all starts with engagement. Take the extra moments necessary to ask questions instead of telling; coach instead of fixing. By doing so, you are training your team members to think about solutions on their own, thereby building their capacity and making them feel like they have more skin in the game. In turn, they become more self-sufficient, which frees you up to focus on the bigger picture, and enables everyone to be more productive and successful.
Effective delegation is the other primary micro-investment that every manager needs to make. In order to foster a cohesive team atmosphere, each member of the team needs to feel like they have a role to play in the organization’s success. The best way to help each team member connect to their role is to coach and delegate effectively. “Delegating supports team members’ growth and development, and increases confidence, trust, and accountability.” When you take time out to engage and delegate, then you are, again, building capacity, developing your team and setting everyone up for success.
Managing others is very different today than even 10 years ago. We know more about which styles of leadership motivate people to make them more productive, and how managing effectively can positively impact your bottom line. The micro-investments of time and energy that you use to effectively coach and delegate will pay off huge dividends down the road. As the old saying goes: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Being an effective leader means teaching your people to fish so they can not only feed themselves, but also feed the team and the organization.
July 2, 2018