Five Ways to Make the Unready, Ready

I often ask leaders, “Who might do some of the things you’re doing?”

It’s not unusual for them to respond, “I’d love to get some things off my plate, but they’re not ready yet.

They aren’t ready because you haven’t prepared them.

successful leadership is best seen in the growth of others.png

Successful leadership is best seen in the growth of others.

Three reasons they’re “not ready:”

  1. Arrogance makes you think others aren’t quite good enough. When you’re better than everyone else, no one is quite good enough.
  2. Your need to be involved propagates un-readiness in others. They’re not ready because you can’t let go.
  3. You can’t face the possibility that delegating may make things worse, while people learn new skills. Change makes things worse before it makes them better.

Five ways to make the unready, ready:

#1. Determine what “ready” looks like. Answers are often vague, when leaders are asked to explain their expectations. What would they be doing – in behavioral terms – that indicates they’re ready for new roles and responsibilities? 

#2. Communicate your expectations in behavioral terms. It’s not enough to say, “I need you to be more responsible, before I give you more authority.” Describe behaviors that indicate they’re more responsible.

  • Explore current behaviors that need to improve.
  • Describe behaviors that need to stop.
  • Define new behaviors.

#3. Evaluate how you have made others “ready” in the last thirty days. Be specific.

#4. Describe what you will do in the next thirty days to prepare someone to take on new authority.

  • Training.
  • Mentoring.
  • Coaching.
  • New assignments.

The reason people keep asking for permission is you delegated a task but held on to authority.

#5. Redefine your role, if you succeed in delegating some of your authority. How will you function, if you’re surrounded with people who have permission to act without asking your permission? 

Note: One assumption of this post is you have teammates who aspire to take on new authority.

What prevents people from being ready?

How might leaders make the unready, ready?

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