Manager's Corner: Are You Too Busy Being Busy?
Are You Too Busy Being Busy?
Do you work 11, 12, or 14 hour days and never get ahead? Do you believe that the more tasks you physically do yourself, the greater your chances are you can inspire your staff to do more? Yet, do you wonder why no one seems to be working as hard or caring as much as you? One reason for your frustration might just be your own behavior.
If you're running around like a chicken with its head cut off--scurrying from task to task, often shifting direction with no notice, and retracting decisions made just hours before, your behavior is sending a message to others. The message is that you're in 'crisis mode'. Most people will recognize it right away--and they'll stay away. Employees stay away from an out-of-control manager by not becoming too involved. Why should they dedicate a great deal of time and effort to a project the manager may well retract or eliminate with no notice? If they've had one of their projects scrapped before because of a lack of planning, they don't want to go through it again. So, they physically and emotionally stay disconnected from the work. It's an act of self-defense on their part. Why should they commit a great deal of effort, time, and emotion to projects that get scrapped? They shouldn't--and they don't.
From the manager's perspective, she sees employees disengaged and uncaring. The more she throws projects at the employees hoping one of them will connect with the employees, the more the employees disengage. So, she believes she has to do the work herself in order to get the work done. Then the employees see her getting involved in everything, taking over, shifting direction, and on and on. It's a vicious cycle. It's like a carnival ride--it keeps going around and around. So, how do you stop it?
Take a good hard look at yourself. As the manager, are you so busy being busy, that you're not focusing on leading your employees? Are you so immersed in the daily tasks, that you're not taking time out to look at what projects are truly the right projects for your organization to pursue--for its long-term benefit? If you spend your days doing stuff, who's doing the planning for the future? Who's setting the tone for a focused future? Who's showing the employees that there is a reason for each project, and each project supports their future and the organization's? If you don't back out of physically and personally doing and start focusing on leading, your vicious cycle won't end--and you'll simply end up very dizzy.
Liz Weber of Weber Business Services, LLC. WBS specializes in Strategic, Business, and Succession Planning, as well as employee and leadership training. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-597-8890.