A Better Way to Be the Hardest Worker
Are you consistently recognized as one of the hardest workers on the team? Does everything fall apart when you’re not around? Do you find yourself bailing out your boss, your peers, and your team?
If you can answer YES to any of these questions, it’s likely you’re being held back by the “Best Damn Doer” syndrome.
Be careful. Being viewed as one of the hardest workers, might be holding you back.
I know. I’ve felt the guilt of being promoted over people working longer and harder than me.
I’ve also promoted the “right candidate” over the one with the most sweat equity in the game. I always appreciate the hardest workers, but they are not always ready to take on more strategic roles.
And the other night, I had one of my clients ask me to help “John,” his high-potential “best damn doer.”
“John’s the go-to for everyone, he adds huge value AND it’s holding him and the business back. How do we get him from past being ‘the best damn doer’ so he can be more strategic?'”
5 Ways to Overcome Being the Best Damn Doer
The Best Damn Doers are the glue, the lynch-pins, the guys or gals who consistently win the awards…. AND yet are frustrated when year-over-year their less “competent” peers get promoted.
If you are among the hardest workers, “a best damn doer” here are a few ways to back away from the grind and add additional value to the team–and your career.
1. Start with a Heart-to-Heart with Your Boss
Bosses love the go-to guy. I know. I’ve had the hardest workers on speed-dial for years.
But the truth is, your boss is likely the same person coaching you to “delegate more and be more strategic.” Even when it’s your boss asking for you to be doing the doing, pause and explain how you’re working to develop your team. Commit to setting clear expectations and inspecting outcomes, but resist the urge to be the one to take care of it, even if it’s your boss doing the asking.
2. Build Skills Before the Fire Drill
When the crap’s hitting the fan, it’s hard to hand over the reins. Bring your team in early and often in low-stake situations. Get them ready.
3. Delegate Well
In Winning Well, we offer lots of tools to help in this arena. Be sure you’re delegating process not outcome, defining the finish line, and are holding people accountable.
4. Ask Great Questions
The best way to get your team thinking is to ask not tell.
One secret to great leadership is getting your team thinking along the same wavelength. Ask your team open-ended questions that encourage them to find solutions (if you’re reading Winning Well, see pages 135-139 for a useful list.)
Learn from the hardest workers on your team. Learn from your hard-working peers.
Bottom line. The more you can replicate your best damn doer skills, the better the results, for your organization, the team, and for your career.
Step away from the doing, and watch the magic.