Saturday, April 18, 2015

How does a Modern Leader Avoid being Overwhelmed

Setting the right priority, and behave like a true leader knowing how to delegate are crucial to avoid being overwhelmed.

Digital organizations are complex and ambiguous, as an effective leader, how do you avoid being overwhelmed by the waves of issues or opportunities and focus on the important ones?

Becoming visible and invisible in different circumstances: It means that true leaders know how to set priority right, focus on the most important thing. It will become visible only when he or she is needed, and will become invisible when there is no need. In other words, they are only visible with their teams when their advice is solicited, and they can add real value to the discourse, and not seen around at every moment to micromanage. It is hard to do, but, most successful leaders have learned to do this. By doing this, they reap the benefits through the increased creativity of their people and flourishing of mutual trust in their organizations. By mastering this, they can focus on important opportunities and issues, and their organization as a whole becomes more effective. What is standing in the way of many leaders who can’t do this is their ego and lower self-confidence. Through ego containment, and growing their self-confidence, they can also become like the few successful invisible and visible leaders.

Delegation is important to avoid being overwhelmed: Good leaders are like magnets, people and problems gravitate to them, to avoid being overwhelmed: First, it involves the team in the process and helps them grow while allowing the leader to prioritize other issues that may require deep personal involvement. Secondly, it reduces the total issues that gravitate to leaders because once a team learns that the first question is going to be "what do you think?" They will begin to evaluate before they bring it to you. Limit the number of issues that actually get to you because they solved it themselves and, more importantly, they will be more prepared with more information when they come to you, reducing the time and depth of the discussion. One of many things a leader can do is to build a good rapport with his/her subordinates. Empower them to solve problems at the earliest opportunity within their sphere of authority rather than letting it migrate vertical or horizontal through the chain of command points. Moreover, improve a line of communications with your managers and workers to anticipate potential problems and identify opportunities for solutions rather than passing a buck. The courage to delegate but not to overwhelm those they are delegating to is important, but even more important is the recognition that there might be errors, mistakes, and failures. Creating an environment where the leaders in your team or safe to fail is critical to sharing the load.

Build a complementary team to cover blind spot: We seldom make great decisions if we are so close to an issue that we cannot see all of the facets of the diamond. Sometimes it is difficult to get perspective and that is why it's always important to have someone you trust to cover your blind spot. We all have them and whether it's a superior, friend or staff member, you always need someone to help you detach. By empowering all whom you lead to be great communicators, innovators, and independent problem solvers, leaders can lead teams of potential leaders, all being mentored to handle issues as they arise. It's a risk that we take when we delegate that level of authority, but with acceptance of mistakes, encouragement, and coaching (all grounded in great communications skills), we can prevent from being overwhelmed. This is truly one of the key attributes of great leaders.

As many say: “No problems, no business.” The only way a leader can avoid overwhelming through a multitude of issues (trivial many) and focus on the really important issues (vital few) is to set the right priority, also, behave like a true leader knowing how to delegate. This helps put the magnitude of an issue in perspective and allows you to better prioritize when everything seems to be on fire, take a step back and decide which bite to take first and which to take last. An effective leader does not always keep the hands full, but learn how to be “mindful.”


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