Wednesday 17 June 2009

Avoid overstretching yourself

So we've turned a corner, now new ideas are coming to the front again and we're actually implementing them. It's great to feel the pace of change. Great to see new people being given opportunities to strike out on their own, form their own roles, and improve the company. There really is very little more satisfying at work than making someone happy by giving them work they love and own. I'm actually smiling as I write this.

There is a word of caution here though. The more I've seen successful change starting, the more I've wanted to see it elsewhere. My hand is up like the excited school kid in the classroom. Me sir.. me sir! Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of people willing to hand tasks over to me to get the mtrlar treatment. I'm not saying that it's perfect, but I think that when someone stands up for something that's clearly defined and communicated, it almost comes second whether people agree it's the best idea, they're just happy that someone has a plan.

Thanks to my enthusiasm for taking on new tasks, I now have a quite considerably increased workload. In my head I thought it would be fine. On paper, the amount of work I've got is fine. The problem is that I didn't include on that paper all the unplanned issues and tasks that spring up daily. They take up lots of time and shunt other tasks to the back. Of course, I don't want my newly acquired tasks to suffer so it's my other roles that get delayed. What are they? Oh, nothing much... just pro-actively managing my teams. That's right, believe it or not, my appetite for spreading the gospel of good management has started to impact on my ability to implement good management!

Don't panic. I think I can still get it all done, I'll just need a little more sweat and some sensible delegation. There's no way I want my teams to suffer for my own hubris. Still, it's a problem I never considered. So beware, if you're successful at becoming an ambassador for change at your company, then make sure that the work required to do that doesn't stop you being the very thing you promote. Personally, I'm going to switch up a notch to catch up, and then work on delegation and training to help maintain the pace of change. My hand will still be going up... maybe only on the core issues... maybe.