As a leader, what are you missing that would help you achieve “the next level'? Chances are it is a person. Even more likely it is a person who is in the next room or down the hall from you at this very moment! Yet, we sit stressed and maxed out as they sit underutilized and bored. They desire meaning, mentoring and challenge, while we desire initiative and productivity. Still both parties sit in their comfortable and familiar rut. This is a very poor utilization of assets and leaves huge profits on the table.
The Art of Investing
Think of your time as you would your money. A wise person thinks in a long-term manner about their money and how to spend and/or invest it for the greatest ROI (return on investment.) Consider the focus, time, and energy you devote to making, saving, and investing money for a specifically defined purpose. Now, that is exactly how you need to approach the time you invest in the people in your sphere of influence; and it is an art. A skill that must be learned and then uniquely applied according to each individual who can share in accomplishing the goal.
Steps on Investing in Others
1. You must have clarity about what you are trying to accomplish. What outcomes you want to focus on and why does it matter? Is the vision compelling enough to get others involved and want to share in the ownership?
2. Focus on the few things only you and you alone can do. What are the unique strengths that you bring to the vision that no one else possesses on the team? What are the other things or tasks you are currently doing (and yes, we know you can do them well) but others could do just as good if not better? Make a list and identify the ones that steal the most time.
3. Find people that have the strengths and abilities to do the tasks you have identified. Before you approach them, work through all the fears you have about delegating, letting go, and giving up control. You may need your coach for this portion.
4. Connect with the person you would like to delegate your tasks to and make sure you have plenty of time to talk it out and get buy in. Share your vision and your goal of investing in the person's professional and personal growth by passing on these specific tasks. Press for push back, find all the holes together, make sure you have healthy conflict to vet out all their fears and share your concerns as well.
5. Train the person on how you currently do the task.
A: Show/tell them how to do it.
B: Do it with them.
C: Observe them as they do it for you.
D: Coach them as they do it without you.
E: Trust them as they do it alone.
F: Check in often and create space for continuous improvement.
You have just invested in one of your people and they are feeling empowered and trusted. Equally as important, you have just opened up a huge amount of time to operate in your strength and talent which you alone do best. It is now time to do it again and again until you are only operating in your strengths!
What do you think about investing in yourself by investing in others?