I don’t know where I first heard the phrase ‘If it’s to be, it’s up to me’. I followed it wholeheartedly once I’d heard it. It empowered me to make things happen in my life – to set goals I had previously thought were too difficult and achieved them. I took responsibility at work and got good performance reviews as a result. Though due to this, sometimes I went too far, thinking something was my responsibility when it really wasn’t. If a situation needed a solution, I dove in and found one, and drove it to completion.
Now I take ‘if it’s to be, it’s up to me’ less categorically.
I’ve recently heard similar stories from clients. One client explained her take on the saying brilliantly: “It has to be done, it just doesn’t always have to be done by me.” Just because she is in charge, it does not mean she has to perform the task, she doesn’t have to know how to do it, and she doesn’t have to be in control of it all the time. She does what she’s good at and what only she can do and then she supports the best in each person so the team can get the job done.
I spoke about a similar situation with another coaching client, a manager who had received feedback from his direct reports – his employees wanted him to delegate more. He was shocked as he thought he had been protecting them from taking on extra work because they were busy and under pressure already. It turned out that his staff wanted to take on bigger chunks of the work and have some more autonomy. The manager had been struggling to let go and to relinquish control. To help him gain perspective, and work on his delegating skills I have encouraged the client to think about what his own skills and where they are best used, and consider what he can do that his boss can’t do.
You do not have to do everything, even if you are the boss. You do not need to know how to do everything. You don’t need to control everything all the time. Think about what it is you do well, what others can help with and what you need to do trust yourself and others.
DIRECTions Coaching can help you reach your potential with executive coaching in London. Call 02031516830.