By Dr. Dan Reinhardt

In earlier blogs we described the first two steps to take when you are already busy:

Blog 1 – Plan well

Blog 2 – Prioritize ruthlessly

But planning and prioritizing won’t be enough. When you lead in an organization, you cannot — you must not — do everything. The task and vision of the organization will be more than you can do alone. This next step is crucial to your leadership.

The third step: Create a team

A team is a powerful way to spread the load and prepare for future growth. Here are four fundamentals of developing productive teams:

  1. Instead of working through people to accomplish a project, use the project to develop people. Invite those interested in the project to meet, then interrogate reality. Leaders often assume it’s their job to come up with the idea and the plan, then delegate responsibility: One hawk and 20 scurrying gophers is not leadership. In order to develop and empower people, start with a clear vision and a rough plan. Ask, “What do you like about the vision and plan?” and “What could make it better?” Invite multiple perspectives and conflicting opinions to refine the plan. You’ll achieve clarity and a superior outcome – and discover passion and talent along the way!
  2. Brainstorm anything that could go wrong, then use those insights to ramp up strategy. Now you have buy-in.
  3. Gather the strategies and responsibilities into natural groupings. Let people pick tasks they’re most interested in – we’re energized when we work in our strengths. Divide up the remaining tasks so no one is overwhelmed.
  4. Respect each other’s area of authority. Give help if it’s asked for, but keep the lines of responsibility clear and don’t micromanage. Create opportunities for reporting back. Celebrate and affirm progress.

Jazz band The most common complaint of leaders is that they’re busy. Well, that’s the nature of leadership. So be wise about what you take on, plan ahead and develop others before you drown in responsibility.

You may be tempted to breathe a sigh of relief when the team meeting is over. Go ahead and sigh once or twice – you’ve done well to get to this point. But it’s not over yet. The next blog will discuss the last obstacle to a successful outcome.

What strategies have you found effective in creating teams? Write your comment below.