Why Managers Can’t [And Shouldn’t] Do It Alone

Anyone who has been a manager knows how challenging it can be. You have to make countless decisions, solve problems, organize projects, fill positions, coach people, monitor financial performance, stay on top of KPIs, and execute strategy to ensure the business’ future success.

The Danger of Doing All The Work

When it comes to managing an organization, people have basically two choices: The first choice is for them to try to do all or most of the work on their own using their sheer will, effort, and determination. Sometimes this is a conscious choice and sometimes it is unintentional, either due to a lack of awareness or to the fact that a lot of managers get caught up in the activity trap and the adrenaline rush of the work itself. There are also managers who could be considered “super-doers,” those who over-manage their people or believe that if the work is going to be done right, they will have to do it themselves. When managers get into the vicious cycle of trying to do too much (or even worse, doing someone else’s job) they are unable to hold people accountable, coach, or provide feedback. This leads to two potential outcomes:

1 – They risk their health and cause damage to their relationships on and off the job.

2. They create a dependent organization that will struggle to achieve long-term, sustained success.

The Importance of Teamwork and Delegation

collaborative team meeting

A manager’s second choice is very different. This path entails making a conscious choice to enroll and engage people in a journey to achieve greater excellence and productivity. This journey involves delegation, empowerment, trust, and collaboration. This means that you lead by example and demonstrate passion and hard work, but everyone on the team is expected to be highly engaged above and beyond their own personal responsibilities and the minimum duties of their jobs. Managers who make this choice, consciously or unconsciously, are committed to a higher purpose—and “higher purpose” is one of the three universal motivators.

There comes a moment of truth when managers have to decide whether success will come as a result of their own will or from the collective power and wisdom of the organization’s members. If you are a manager who desires to pursue the path of being an enterprise leader, you will need to have a rich conversation with your people to explain what you intend to do, how you plan to lead, and what is expected of enterprise-minded people. You will need to articulate the benefits for them, for the customers, and for other stakeholders. This journey will need to include more learning opportunities for people, variety in their job tasks, greater responsibility and authority, and appropriate rewards and recognition. It means that you will be sharing more control over decisions and the direction the team is moving in exchange for the heightened ownership, passion, and commitment of your people.

Summary

Simply put:

Leaders don’t need to have all the good ideas.

They just need to recognize who on their team does—and who will go above and beyond the minimum expectations to contribute to the team’s mission. If you crave the limelight and credit for results, this can be a tough decision to make. Managers who have typically made all the decisions will have to reassess their beliefs and assumptions about the most effective way to lead people. They will need to experience a change of heart—but it can be done, and to the benefit of many. As you engage people more fully, you can and will begin to produce exceptional results.

To learn more about how CMOE helps managers engage the workforce and become enterprise leaders, visit www.cmoe.com. If you have questions or would like to explore how we work with managers to engage people and produce exceptional results, please reach out to us any time.

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About the Author

CMOE Team

CMOE’s Design Team is comprised of individuals with diverse and complementary strengths, talents, education, and experience who have come together to bring a unique service to CMOE’s clients. Our team has a rich depth of knowledge, holding advanced degrees in areas such as business management, psychology, communication, human resource management, organizational development, and sociology.