Who is your replacement

You may be just walking into your role as a leader or maybe you’ve been at this for a while. The best leaders are always thinking forward to how they can make themselves replaceable. 

If you know you your replacement might be...

  • What responsibilities or projects could you delegate to them sometime soon? 
  • How might you intentionally bring them into your world and how you think through things?
  • Is there a way for you to take them out for coffee or lunch... have them over your house?

If you don’t know who your replacement is... 

  • Just keep this idea in mind over the coming weeks... “who is my replacement?”
  • Who might you recruit that might be a leader for the team one day?
  • Ask some people on your team if they’d ever consider being a leader... 

Giving authority away

Check out this awesome quote from Craig Groeschel: “When you delegate tasks you create followers. When you delegate authority, you create leaders.”

Delegating tasks looks like people “helping you” to get something done. This results in followers. You have the authority—they have an action item.

However, when you give away authority, you give someone else the ability to make decisions on their own, which allows them to step up a leader (yet you’re still the leader). 

Great teams of leaders create leaders.

In other words, they’re not just on the team to fulfill a task, but to pour into people.

Great leaders build better leaders and create opportunities for them to exercise their strengths

That means your role isn’t to just do a bunch of tasks and get things done — it’s to develop leaders on your team. There is probably someone in your sphere of influence that you could “free up” to take ownership of something. Your job is to give them that opportunity. The way to do it is by giving them authority, not tasks. 

Some questions to consider... 

  • Do you feel like you have the authority to make decisions in your role as a leader?
  • As a follow up to that first question, think of the people on your team. Do they feel like they have the authority to make decisions? (How can you help them to make sure they do?)
  • What are some upcoming projects where you can give someone else the authority to carry out a project? (And not micromanage them!)
  • Are you building a team of “helpers” or “leaders”? 

Excellence is your next email”

In an interview with Daniel Pink, leadership guru Tom Peters says “excellence is your next email.”

Peters is known for saying, “Excellence is the next five minutes.” That’s true, too.

The point of his comment is that it’s common to believe excellence is some huge kind of feat. In other words, our default is to believe excellence requires enormous planning, preparation, and perseverance. The truth is excellence starts with how you approach all the mico-decisions in your life and work. This includes seemingly mundane decisions like communicating with our coworkers and how we maintain our environment.

Excellence starts with how you approach all the mico-decisions in your life and work

Josh Mitchell

Peters continues: “In a five line email, you reveal every single important element of your personality and view of life.” Peters remarks to Dan that they both know this is true.

Cue it up to 10:50 to hear Tom Peter’s riff on “Excellence is...”

When life and work get crazy, spending time to thoughtfully craft a message in writing requires focus and thinking. We resist higher level thinking and reasoning. We want to achieve the end goal without dealing with the messy middle.

As you reflect on your work, do you approach micro-actions with any level of excellence?

Excellent email writing doesn’t have to look super fancy or be “English on stilts.” It doesn’t mean you have to start have all the correct grammar and punctuation (key word start). It means you have consider your reader and the issue at hand. It means pausing and thinking about the questions someone might have when they read your writing. It means caring for others: showing empathy and connection.

What are you revealing about your personality when you send an email?

What are you revealing about your view of life when you share your writing?

Peters’ observation rings true for me. Many of my coworkers and colleagues reveal so much about their values in the way they write. Some take the time to write thoughtful, clear words. This earns trust. Others spew out information onto the screen. This causes frustration and extra work.

Have you considered how you can spread excellence in your micro-actions?