The Lone Manager

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January 9, 2014

A couple of weeks ago I was working with a client who was having time management challenges.  We began our coaching session discussing the many tasks on his plate and the “time robbers” that just seemed to be gobbling up his time.  As we dug a little deeper it became apparent that he was suffering from a common leadership condition I affectionately call, the Lone Manager syndrome.  This is a when leader takes on more projects and tasks than necessary; specifically projects which actually should be handled by his or her team.  This in turn affects his/ her ability to manage their day to day priorities and leadership responsibilities.   The end result is a reduction in effectiveness, an increase in frustration and a management team with accountability & performance issues.  The good news is that with awareness and a commitment to modify one’s behavior, the Lone Manage Syndrome is completely treatable and curable.  Let me break it down. There are 3 core issues that tend to be at the root of the delegation issue and they are all interconnected: Control, Trust and Accountability.

Some leaders have a very hard time with delegation.  It’s not that they don’t want or need the help, but they justify taking on the task because:

  1. It’s easier to do themselves than train or explain to someone else (Time & Control))
  2. No one can do it a well as them ( Trust & Confidence)
  3. The end result will be exactly what they want ( Control)
  4. They can’t trust others to follow through or do it right ( Confidence & Accountability)

You understand why you take on more than you should, and you probably recognize that it’s not the healthiest style of management, but do you realize the negative impact your behavior can have on others?  When you take on more than you should, you limit the growth of others on many levels: the learning and mastering of new areas, responsibility, accountability and leadership just to name a few.

So what do you do?  Improving your delegation skills or changing your style doesn’t occur over night.  It’s a process that begins with increased awareness. Take our Delegation-Self Arareness Assessment on our website under Leadership Tools in our Leadership Tool Box. 

Start working on your delegation abilities or leadership skills today and call Goldin Leadership at 949-387-3436 to set up a complimentary coaching consultation!