Replace Yourself At Work

If you think you’re indispensable at work, imagine you got hit by a bus at lunchtime. Not a pleasant thought, of course, but consider what would happen back at work. In most cases, work would go on. In rare cases, the company would collapse. To ensure your company goes on, consider replacing yourself. How? Let’s look at three steps to help replace you and make you an asset to your company.

  1. Have great up-to-date processes and procedures. Most companies have processes and procedures and a good portion are out of date. I once worked for an organization where we kept quoting a policy. One day the boss asked to see what the policy said. No policy existed. We couldn’t even find the policy book. The policy was an office myth. We had lived long enough with the myth that we believed it.
  2. Have an update definition of your job. Make sure that someone else knows what you do and how you do it. A definition on paper will help but nothing will help replace you better than the knowledge of someone else. If you’re paranoid someone is going to take your job because they know too much, that’s a personal problem you need to deal with on your own. If you’re truly worth the salary you are being paid, no one wants to replace you and you can share information with qualified persons.
  3. Communicate well and delegate well. Everything about your job that’s in your head is a tremendous resource for your company. If you’ve kept good records, held productive meetings, delegated to your team, and communicated well on a daily basis, you set the scene to replace yourself. Even if your team doesn’t have all the information that’s in your head, they will know you well enough to make a very educated, calculated decision as to what should be done in any situation.

In one of my positions, I had the luxury eight weeks off. Because I had delegated to my team, communicated to them what needed to be done, and provided them with resources that would help replace me, they did a beautiful job during those eight weeks. I came back refreshed and ready to get back to work and there wasn’t a lot of catching up to do. I had replaced myself in advance.

Are you robbing someone of the opportunity to grow?

Delegation is one of the toughest things for most people to do. Why, well?

  • I can do it faster,
  • I can do it quicker,
  • I don’t have time to train someone else how to do it, and
  • I know it will be done my way.

I learned a long time ago, as a television producer, is I had to delegate to be effective. It took me a while to learn proper delegation because initially, I had to do everything myself.

It was very easy for me to do it my way and make sure it was right and take my time or hurry up, depending on the situation.

When I was 1st given an assistant, I actually had one of my colleagues say to me, “you know, if you don’t leave her alone, you’re going to lose her.” I was having a hard time delegating, giving stuff up and I was always checking and looking over his shoulder to make sure she did it my way or correctly.

Well, guess what, I knew she was talented. I knew she had lots of skills. I also learned very quickly that my way wasn’t the only way. The hard part is sometimes when they do it their way, it’s better. We like to think ours is the only “right way”.

Here’s how to delegate.

1. Plan. What are you going to delegate? Why are you delegating it? Who are you delegating to and what results do you expect and by when? It’s that old W5 thing. You’ve got to figure out what needs to happen, by when, by who and how are you going to find out of it it’s done to the proper level.

2. Hold people accountable, including yourself. One of the worst things I’ve seen, and I see it continually in companies I work with and with folks I see in my workshops, is nobody’s held accountable. Ah, well they didn’t do it right … well, I’ll let it slide this time.

3. Have the difficult conversations when somebody doesn’t do something correctly.

When it comes to delegation … plan … what I’m going to delegate, who am I going to delegate it to, how am I going to delegate it, why am I delegating, what results do I expect?

If you plan properly before you ever have that conversation with your individual, you’re going to have it all organized and you will be able to answer questions because questions are there.

Remember, if you are communicating with someone, it’s two-way. They must be able to ask you questions. You can’t just walk in and dump something on someone’s lap and walk away. That’s not communication and all you’re doing is setting someone else up for failure. So, plan and have that conversation … make time for the conversation.

Is it going to take more time to delegate initially … yes, so get over it. You’ll just have to put up with taking a little more time.

Is it going to take some training and coaching … possibly … you’re going to have to do that as well. Build that into your plan so you know that you can help someone else grow, because when you don’t delegate, what you’re doing is robbing someone else of the opportunity to grow.

Plus, you’re also ensuring that 6 months from now you’ll have a whole bunch of new things on your plate and all the stuff you didn’t delegate.

Add your comments and share how you effectively delegate.

 

Down Time Is Critical To Be Effective

Most of us will book time to meet with others but we don’t book time to meet with ourselves. A work-related time to plan and organize is critical. So is time to regain energy and clear your mind. Go for a walk, stop for a coffee, meditate, or just do nothing. Give yourself time to recharge. Don’t let your need to be busy get in the way of being effective with a full tank of energy. 

It’s all about questions

As someone who started as a journalist, I know the value of great questions. Throughout my career, I’ve focused on asking good questions to move projects forward, to inspire thinking on the part of direct reports and colleagues, and to help me sort out my life and work. It’s always great to read articles that support the value of questions. Check out this article from Fast Company. It’s just a three-minute read – http://bit.ly/1Qgmt2n 

Do Your Teeth Really Need to be Whiter?

While I recognize we all want a winning smile, I suggest the teeth whitening craze has gotten to be a bit much. I’ve always watched people’s mouths, maybe I’m practicing my lip reading skills for when my hearing fades totally, so I’m aware of the value of great teeth. However, I’m now getting mesmerized by blinding white teeth, so mesmerized that I get distracted from the conversation.

As I was just spammed with a $129 special, it occurred to me that many people I know, who had great smiles, are being conned into paying for a procedure they truly don’t need. Why do we fall for such vanity hooks?

In supervisory and management roles I’ve noted we also fall for vanity hooks. You’re doing a great job, can you take on this additional task? You’ve always been there to support your people, how about adding this item to your portfolio? Pat me on the back and add another log on my fire of responsibilities.

As a leader you recognize when you must say, “No”. Leaders certainly fill their plate but they don’t take extra serving just to demonstrate how brilliant or talented they are. They know when to say, enough. Now connecting whitening your teeth to leadership may seem like a stretch, but is it? It all comes back to recognizing we truly need to be who we are, honestly.

Are you getting sucked in as a supervisor or manager and taking responsibility for more than you should, or are you a leader?

Garth Roberts

www.garthroberts.com