businessman in a hamster wheel | maintain your leadership responsibilitiesDo you have two roles at your company: one on the Leadership Team (LT) as well as another area of the business (e.g. the Sales Director Role and Sales Rep, Director of Ops and Shop Manager, etc.)? If so, where do you find you spend more of your time?

Most often, you will get pulled into the role that is farther down in your Accountability Chart. It is difficult to focus on developing your team (LT role) when a potential client is calling, or building the operations process (LT role) when there are safety concerns on the floor. The urgent almost always wins over the important.

When Leaders Stop Leading

Lately I’ve had a number of EOS® sessions with clients where LT members have realized that they have been neglecting their leadership responsibilities – developing their teams, developing their processes, training new members of their team, and creating their plans for the future.

This problem showed up in multiple ways, but one of the biggest was around Rocks. These people were either not taking higher-level Leadership Team Rocks, or they were just not getting them done. As we dug in, we found that a majority of their time was being spent tactically, not strategically. As one of the members said, “I don’t have time for EOS (strategic) with all the day-to-day stuff (tactical) I have to do.”

This is another manifestation of leaders hitting the ceiling. They aren’t able to accomplish everything they need to do in both seats in the time they have. One of the strengths of EOS is that we know when you hit the ceiling there are only five steps you can take to fix it:

  • Simplify more
  • Delegate better
  • Predict more accurately
  • Systemize your work
  • Structure things differently

One of my teams said, “We don’t have the funds to hire someone, so it is what it is.” Most other teams had similar responses. I reminded them that they were forgetting some of the steps available to work on solving this problem and were therefore jumping to conclusions.

Finding a Way to Lead Again

As we slowed things down, they realized there were multiple roots to the issue. It was a bit different for each team, but generally the list looked like this:

  • Poor time management
  • Processes not complete
  • Teams not trained well
  • Workload too uneven
  • Not enough people

As the teams crafted the solutions for each of these issues, they found that there were a lot of ways they could fix or alleviate the problem, without having to hire someone. They also realized they were never going to help the company grow and become the organization it was meant to be unless they took the time to lead the company. With some better calendar management, work on processes, a bit of training, and a better pipeline tool, they realized that they could make the shift to team development, without needing extra team members.

Are you doing the leadership work your company needs to grow, and not just the tactical work that it needs to sustain? What do you need to change to make things better?

Next Steps