Are you a DIY Leader?

Do you ever find yourself resorting back to a ‘Do It Yourself’ style of leadership? Here are six questions to help you recognise the warning signs.

Did you ever hear one of your parents say, exasperated, “Don’t worry about it, I’ll just do it myself!”? It’s a lament often heard from time-poor parents. Unfortunately, under pressure, it may be a phrase a leader mistakenly finds themselves saying, or if not saying, doing. It’s a harmful place to be in.

Do you ever find yourself resorting back to this ‘Do It Yourself’ style of leadership? Here are six questions to help you recognise the warning signs:

  • Are you a perfectionist, wanting the job done properly the first time?
  • Do you think it’s easier to do it yourself, without having to explain the process?
  • If you pass on the work to someone else, do you feel like your position as the leader has less distinction?
  • Or, if you pass on the work, do you feel like your team members might upstage you, so it’s better to do it yourself to save face?
  • Do you believe you can get the job done better than anyone else?
  • Are you too busy to delegate tasks?

If any of the questions above resonate, DIY style may have leaked into your leadership at some point.

The DIY attitude can imply you don’t trust your team to do the work you originally chose them for – this can be a catastrophic hit to your team’s morale. If you truly believe you can manage everything on your own, why do you have a team?

Hovering over your team’s shoulders, constantly controlling what they are doing and taking over where you might not be the best person for the job can seem like it’s helping, and it might be helping your peace of mind, but it can actually be detrimental to your team’s productivity and it does not encourage individual growth and learning.

The key word here is ‘delegate’. Your job as a leader is to put the right people with the right skills in the right places at the right time and watch your whole team flourish while they all learn, grow and improve together. Delegating tasks to your team members is a great way to encourage each individual to develop themselves, as well as an opportunity for you to develop your mentoring skills, rather than your DIY skills.

It can be difficult to give up control, especially if you’ve been involved in these tasks for a long time, but passing the responsibility on to someone who has the right skills for each particular task can actually give you freedom in your leadership. With less tasks taking up your day and more trust in your talented team, your time can be better spent planning the future of your team and the next horizon. Investing the time to train others in your team to do some of the work you have been doing might seem like a burden or a waste of time, but long term you and the team will reap the rewards.

If you’re not sure where to start with delegating tasks, or how to put the right people in the right teams, contact People Make The Difference. We can help you with our training workshops, one-on-one coaching and Coach on Call services. To find out more, call us on 0412 333 415 or visit: