As a business owner or leader, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the nitty gritty tasks of running the business. But that prevents you from being an effective leader, and from focusing on the strategic activities that will really move your business forward.
There are plenty of reasons why a leader might find themselves stuck in the trenches. Sometimes, it's a lack of resources or money. Other times, it's a challenge finding the right people to support you.
Why is it important to get out of the weeds?
- There's a good chance you'll burn out
- You will limit the opportunities for your team to contribute and grow
- It’s not scalable
Whether you’ve found yourself in this compromising position by choice or by chance, here are three ways to get out of the weeds as a leader.
When you find yourself stuck in the day-to-day, you might be tempted to just keep plowing forward. You want to get to the other side, and you want to get there quickly. You keep hoping you’ll get a break. But when you’re always left with a long to-do list, you need to step back and regroup. You need to take a look at your situation from a new perspective and figure out what's not working.
To get out of the weeds, you might have to change the way that you're looking at your situation. This can be as simple as changing your perspective or changing the way that you’re viewing the problem.
One powerful way to change your perspective is by knowing where your impact is worth the most – you are the CEO (or VP, Director, etc) and you know certain tasks aren’t the best use of your time – so you need to prioritize where you need to put your attention to make maximum impact. It’s saying - hey, there are a lot of different things going on, where should I give my time to create the most value?
If you're feeling overwhelmed by a project or a situation, try imagining what it would be like delegating some tasks to someone else. Maybe one of your current team members. Or is it time to bring on a virtual assistant?
When you find yourself stuck in the weeds, the last thing that you want to do is ask for help, right? You don't want to look weak, you don't want to seem incapable, and you don't want to be a burden on your team members. Plus, you're the leader – it's your job to figure this stuff out. But according to Dr. Hunt, “The least effective leaders are those who micromanage and are exclusively top-down, hierarchical leaders. These styles used to be the norm, but they are being replaced by more team-oriented styles focused on delegating and empowering.
Delegation can be tricky to master, and sadly it's not something that we are taught. Most of us were taught to own our responsibilities; not to hand them off to others. We weren't necessarily taught how to seek out help, but for leaders it's an absolute must.
So turn to your team and ask for help- when you ask for help, you are giving your team members a valuable opportunity to contribute and feel valued. They can see that they are needed and that they are helpful. And we all like to be needed and helpful. By relinquishing control and asking for help, you can take a deep breath and reflect on your situation from a new perspective.
Ask yourself: Do I understand what my most important task is? Do I know how my time is being spent, and am I getting any benefit from it?
If the answer is no – pen down everything that you are doing and look for what you can delegate. Communication plays a very important role in getting out of the weeds.
For any leader, being trapped in operational tasks is a nightmare. But there are ways to get out of it. Read more about effective delegation and practice it with your team. Consider bringing on an affordable, skilled virtual assistant so you can focus on what’s important to make a real impact in your business. You really can get out of the weeds!
We’ve helped hundreds of clients to prioritize what’s important for achieving their goals and take back valuable time to focus on growing their businesses. Read about some of our success stories, then browse our Talentplace to find a VA who meets your needs. Or, book a discovery call with our Solutions team if you need some help finding the right match.