It is easy to get stuck in a cycle of working hard, doing all you can, making decisions, steering the ship, networking, researching, pitching, speaking, having meetings – and feel like all this responsibility lies with you alone.
And that is in normal times. It can be worse in a lockdown. You may feel that since you did not have a team / direct reports, and managed everything yourself before the lockdown, that it must be impossible to build a team now that you can’t even meet up. Wrong!
Maybe you did have a team, but you feel that you have to direct their every step to ensure a successful outcome, and now in our current situation during this pandemic it’s even harder to oversee them.
There is so much to do not that is essential for business growth / building a successful career/business. This is no time to sit on your laurels. However, this is the time to focus on:
How well you do what you do.
- Do you feel like the fate of the world (business/project/family/relationships) rests on your shoulders alone? This individual mentality can become even more ingrained in isolation. Be aware of this and realise that you aren’t alone. People are available to help if you will let them.
- How are you maximising your efficiency and collaborating with others to achieve the best results? It’s easy to get stuck in anxiety and worry over everything you have to get done combined with the frustration of feeling that your hands are tied. Instead, spend your valuable time thinking about where you will gain the maximum returns for your efforts.
- Who in your team is more proficient at achieving specific tasks than you are? “I don’t have a team!” I hear you scream. Yes, you do. And if not, build one. Reach out to colleagues. How about all those years of paying for networking? Make them finally pay off – reach out to those who are better/more proficient/more experienced at delivering a specific task than you are and see if there are opportunities to collaborate.
“Uzo, yes, I have a team, but they are not great at delivery and so I feel like I have to do everything myself.” What I hear is that you haven’t taken the time to build trust in your team and have probably never empowered them to make critical decisions within defined parameters. Work on that. The more you can practise delegating and showing your team you trust them, the more likely they are to pick up the reigns and deliver, freeing you up for more significant work.
It can be extremely easy to see collaboration and delegation as a tick box exercise, and in doing so, you do not fully let go of the “busy” work that seems to consume a lot of time in business environments today.
Focus on the actions you can take that will deliver superior results for your team/department/organisation.
Ask yourself –
- Who can I ask for help today?
- Who can I count as part of my ‘team’?
- What can we collaborate on?