The issue here is not necessarily overwhelming staff or team members, but rather the difference between delegating and dumping. Craig Groeschel has a couple great posts on how to delegate here and here. So many leaders, though, are guilty of dumping more often then they are responsible for delegating. The reasons can be many, but here’s a few. A leader tries to go it on their own rather than involving others. As an event nears they become overwhelmed, and in an attempt to get to the bottom of their ‘to do list’ they start to unload tasks – throwing long lists of unfinished duties to team members that are now shocked and overwhelmed by the sudden thrust of tasks. Another reason this can happen is a leader does not have faith in his/her team. They have a ‘savior’ complex, thinking if something’s done by someone other than himself or herself it will fail. The result in situations like these is always the same: disaster.
The best practice is to involve team members in the entirety of planning and execution of tasks for an event. Help them take ownership, and as Craig Groeschel explains in his posts, delegate authority not just responsibility. When you just dump things on team members at the last moment you are communicating to them that they are not valuable enough to be involved in the process. They are simply ‘hired hands’ that are there to pick up your slack. Don’t be a leader that puts your team in impossible situations because of your own ego issues. Be a leader that believes in your team – that sets your team up for success. Let me know what you think about this!! I’d love to hear your thoughts/stories on Delegating vs. Dumping!