Overcommitting creates diminishing returns.
YOU ARE THE LINK between vision and action, the connective tissue between potential and success. While senior leaders develop strategies, you and your team bring them to life. You constantly make do with less. You’re a highly ambitious leader known for getting stuff done. You’ve always been rewarded for your work ethic. You are an overachiever and we appreciate you for it.
(Here comes the “but”); But, your pace is unsustainable. Before you say, “wait a minute”, what do you complain about the most? Not being able to complete all the projects you have at the quality level they deserve.
Yes, you love control, but your strengths of effort, control and persistence are becoming your greatest weaknesses. Why?
- Others on your team are missing opportunities to step up because you haven’t delegated enough to them (Yes, you don’t want to burden them – they’re working hard too – but you’re delegating tasks, not projects they can fully own).
- Your focus is on putting out fires not on strategy.
- You’re caught up in a storm of frenetic energy and over time it has become the way things are with you.
You need to put your goals on a diet. How?
- List your goals and rank them in order of those things that you are passionate about,
- Delegate those projects you don’t enjoy; the entire project – not just a series of tasks you’ve identified – to key members of your team,
- Learn to say no by telling others you cannot take on their request for more work,
- Re-evaluate the meetings you attend. Don’t go to them just because you were invited, and make sure the meetings you lead are focused more on decisions and less on sharing information.
As a fellow control freak and overachiever, I understand this is easier said than done. But, if our intention is to complete meaningful work that makes a difference to our people, our company, customers and community, then we need to take a hard look at ourselves and ask “where am I getting in the way of my ultimate purpose? What can I do so I am not the problem? Where do I need to reduce the scope of my commitments and put my goals on a diet?”
“It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.”
– Steve Maraboli