From our pocket book of top tips for inspiring leaders, Tip 19 – Step up to add real value get off the dance floor onto the balcony.
Situation: “Dance Floor Daniel”
Daniel had worked virtually every level from shop floor to senior executive role and considered himself a man of the people. He bragged that he knew about everything going on in his organisation and every level and what everybody was doing. This worked for him when he was in a small element of the organisation leading a small team and he could put his arms around more.
However, as he got promoted into a far bigger role sit was physically and mentally impossible to know what everybody was doing all the time and be into everything they were doing. The danger was he ended up micro-managing them thinking for them and not letting them do their own independent thinking. Remember the tip: “what got you here won’t get you there.”
He had an addiction to being down in the weeds on the dance floor. On promotion how can he learn to see and play the bigger strategic game? If he could do that he would make a far bigger value adding impact – so giving direction for the next year and beyond.
Approach: I asked him to focus on answering the following question and continually working on it – “What are the Top 3 things that will add the most value in the whole year that I should be doing?” Start to say “no” to being involved in every meeting and learn to prioritise where he should direct his energy and his presence. Others were constantly relying on his decision-making rather than their own. The decision-makers should be able to execute at the level where the information exists; not at the most senior level.
He delegates much more to his direct line managers. He has created strategic time to think and white space in his diary where he can focus on the true value-adding elements. He was less involved in the micromanagement and added real value to the business other people said.