If You Want it Done Right, Do it Yourself
A common refrain from many CEO’s and small business owners is: “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” I suspect many people are shaking their head in agreement; however, if you want to lead a great business and not just a good business and in turn become a great motivational leader, then you need a shift in thinking.
On a conscious level, when asked how to best allocate their time, business leaders will undoubtedly mention delegation as a major factor in leadership. As professional business coaches, we ask clients to focus on their vital skills and systematically remove clutter from their business and personal lives. Without question, most business leaders are in full agreement.
However, when faced with truth, it is far more difficult to remove clutter unless you are willing to be conscious and mindful of your choices.
Consider a client who is a physician. He complained that he has little time to focus on more strategic aspects of his practice because he always ends up doing the work he delegated to his staff. During medical school he learned to be a perfectionist and a solo problem solver. Those traits served him and his patients well when he went into practice as a general practitioner. Now that he owns his own clinic, he recently became aware that his long -standing tendency and habit to micromanage had become a hindrance to himself, his practice and the engagement of his employees.
He realized that he was reticent to delegate important work because, in the past, the results often failed to meet his standards in getting it done the “right” way or getting it done fast enough. He admitted his ingrained belief was, “If you want it done right, do it yourself.”
When advised to try a different strategy that included providing staff members more specifics about the results and time frame he expected, he discovered they could meet or even exceed his expectations. The result is the physician is now free to engage in long-term strategy planning.
In order to execute upon a new way of thinking, it is vital to be conscious of our habitual thoughts, and open to looking at ingrained ways of thinking. Counterproductive habits are difficult to give up because they serve a purpose. In this case, the habitual response to delegation preserved and protected the physician’s self-image: “Only I can do it right.”
Those who are willing to investigate and challenge their own deeply held beliefs often find their original assumptions were not correct — a discovery which enables change and personal growth.