Bob, the busy boss, always has stacks on his desk, an overloaded email inbox, and working on some assignment that was due yesterday. When you ask him how he is doing, he often responds with a comment about being overwhelmed. Often it seems like there are too many Bobs around.
Reflecting back, were these “busy bosses” really working on important stuff? I was fortunate early in my career to get some outstanding coaching from a seasoned leader. He told me the downfall of many talented people was that they took the parts of the job they liked or were good at up with them when they were promoted. Not only did this limit the leadership tasks for the person replacing them, it also caused them to be busy working on things that were not their job.
Some real examples observed of this are signing authorizations below your level of responsibility, hiring your people’s people and performing quality control on team assignments. This mentor taught me to take every new assignment from a clean slate. Understand your new role and let your replacement be successful.
Do you approach every assignment as separate from your last? Do you leave the old job behind?