Are You a Bottleneck Maker, or Breaker?

You know this kind of leader. Always complaining that everyone needs their time. So many requests for face-to-face meetings. Continually pestered to weigh in on a vast array of matters. Life is so hard for this leader!

We know the likely reason why: This leader owns all the team decisions. A requirement clear to everyone on the team. Everything to be passed by this leader first before any significant action can be taken. This makes them all powerful. And they like the feeling.

Somehow, they are oblivious to what’s really happening. They’ve become the bottleneck to getting anything done. As decisions pile up, everyone has to receive the leader’s blessing. Even though the leader likely doesn’t have the best understanding of the situation, much less the right vantage to make a sound one.

Great leaders know what decisions they really need to own. And which ones they don’t. They then push down that decision authority to folks in much better positions to make the call. That should be true for the overwhelming majority of decisions.

Think carefully about what decisions you need to own. And which ones are better handled by colleagues. Or perhaps your partner. Maybe even your children! Give up as many decisions as you can. Skillful leaders allow other people to lead.