Don’t Manage from Down the Hole

Common sayings you hear from struggling managers is – “if I want it done right”, “I have to do it myself”; “no-one can do it as good as me”; “I am the quickest”; “I have no time to teach anyone so it is quicker to do it myself”; “I cannot trust anyone”; “it was not my fault” …. Sound familiar?

I was no different.

A lesson I learnt early as a plumbing supervisor, was that if I was down the hole doing ‘the task’, then the job ran poorly.

My ego said that I was the only one who could do ‘the task’ – I was the professional, best, quickest ……

Maybe this was true, but I neglected to understand that, as the Supervisor, I was also accountable for the running of the entire site.

So, I trained a colleague in ‘the task’, picked up a shovel and went from being responsible for ‘the task’, to being responsible for a lesser task whilst being accountable for the site. I now had time to delegate every task ahead of time.

Productivity then soared.

Don't manage from down the hole

Delegation is a critical skill for all supervisors, managers and leaders, but before you can successfully do this, you need to recognise what you are responsible for and what you are accountable for.

If you don’t, your customers and staff will see it – and worse, any regulatory body will see it. 

Through these learnings, Steve’s leadership journey took him from plumber to CEO.

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