I can't tell you the number of times I hear women say "I'm a hard worker" like it is a badge of honor to heralded. Don't misunderstand, I applaud people with a great work ethic. But I have found that an unchecked work ethic can prevent people from reaching the level of leadership they desire.
I had a couple of clients get really honest about why they like to work so hard. In two separate instances, women from different industries, both admitted that they like to be needed. In fact, they admitted they need to be needed.
If you are really honest with yourself, as these BRAVE women were, is that true for you? Does the fact that people come to you because you have the most depth of knowledge, or because you get results, or because you know how to work around the system, keep people knocking on your door all the time?
If that is true, then I guarantee you are feeding the need to be needed and as a result undermining your leadership. Leaders aren't needy. They meet needs. Not only are you sabotaging your leadership but you are probably so busy that you don't realize you are wasting time on things that are NOT important to your job.
We feel important when we are busy and needed. But true leaders know that busyness is a seducer from whom we must always be on guard. In fact, the true sign of good leadership is when things don't fall apart when you aren't around.
The Leadership Freak aka Dan Rockwell gives a few ways to get over the need to be needed in his blog. Among his points, my favorite are:
1. Give what you crave. If you need praise, give it.
2. Enable more, and control less
3. Accept your frailties. You will never change what you don't accept.
I applaud your work ethic. And you should be diligent at everything you decide to do. But if you think your worth and value is tied to how many people need you at work, then you are making a mistake that will keep you from reaching your true leadership potential.
If you are always busy but rarely productive and want to change, then I invite you sign up for a free Awaken Your Brave 30 minute phone conversation to see if working together on this issue is right. Click here to schedule your complimentary ses
Hi there. I'm Julia. Founder, Executive Coach and Leadership Development expert at Brave Communication LLC. Unless noted, I wrote all of the posts here in.