2. Struggling to delegate
Because no one knows how to do it quite like you, right?
When you're a "maker" instead of a manager, you are focused on your individual projects and tasks. When you enter into a leadership role, those things are no longer your priority. You. Must. Let. Go.
It may feel like you do it best and no one on your team is quite up to snuff, but if that's the case, then you're failing as a leader. Whatever your team requires to be effective -- resources, direction, moral support, tough love -- it's on you. The quality of their work is the quality of your work. When they succeed, so do you. When they stumble, you do too.
Delegation was hard for me to learn. I burned the candle at both ends for two years, trying to produce high-quality deliverables while also leading a team. I didn't trust some of my employees to handle certain projects, so they never learned.
The result? My team started to fall apart and I was totally burned out. 3. Avoiding the spotlight
If you're among the many people who abhor public speaking, like myself, then it's time to start practicing. You don't have to like it, but if you hold a leadership role, you have to do it.
You are your team's biggest cheerleader. Without making big companywide presentations or speaking up in important meetings, you and your staff's work will be invisible.
All you need is some nice-looking data, a couple of slides, and confidence. Easier said than done, I know. But practice will help, even when it's at home and your only audience member is your dog. Here are a few tips I've gathered from the presentation pros:
You're going to make mistakes. Probably even some big ones.
- Move around while you're speaking instead of standing stick-straight with a white-knuckle grip on your note cards.
- Embrace the nerves. It's natural, normal, and 100 percent OK to feel that way. Fighting against it will make things worse.
- Practice, practice, practice. If you've rehearsed what you want to say a couple dozen times at home, you'll feel more confident and prepared. Never wing it.
- Use lots of strong visuals, like graphs and GIFs. It's great for the audience, and you'll have more people staring at your slides than you. Phew!
But you know what? No one ever got better at anything by making zero mistakes. It's inevitable, and it's part of our growth as leaders and as human beings.
Strong leaders will openly acknowledge their errors instead of trying to hide from them. If you manage with this mindset, you'll learn quickly.