“I am a bit overwhelmed,” Nancy announced. “Since my promotion to manager, there is more to do and people are pulling me in too many directions. I am having trouble keeping up.”
“Do you think this situation will get better or worse?” I asked.
“It seems to get worse, day by day. I get in around 7:30 in the morning, been trying to leave for home each day by 6:30p. Too much to do.”
“So, stop doing,” I said. Nancy looked at me sideways. “The most important thing you can do is stop doing.”
“Then, what will happen with all the work?”
“If you don’t do the work, who will?”
Nancy searched for the answer. “If I don’t do the work, then my team will have to do the work. But, I don’t think they are capable of doing the work, that’s why I am the manager.”
“There is certainly managerial work for you to do, but most of the work that needs to be done should be done by your team. You will only find out if they are capable by testing them. With project work. And, if it turns out a team member does not have the capability, what should you do?”
“I either have to re-assign the work or do it myself,” Nancy replied.
“The most important job for every manager is to build the team. Do this well, and your life as a manager will be wonderful. Do this poorly, your life as a manager will be miserable and for a very long time.”