Have you become so good at what you do that no one else in your organization can do it as well as you do it? It may make you feel good to answer yes to that question. It may make you feel indispensable and critical to the organization — and those are good in many ways. However, there are also some problems with answering yes.
Answering yes likely means you are not developing people below you at a rapid enough pace. It also means that you are limited in how much you can grow and evolve in order to become more critical to the organization at a higher level. If you don’t have this problem but you work for someone who does, you are experiencing many of the same side effects.
This is a huge problem in this industry and this issue runs rampant in many of the firms in which we work. Leadership succession is not just reserved for top management. It is something that the entire firm culture must embrace.
If you are too busy to get out and sell more work because you are the only person in your firm who can do a certain task, then figure out a way to push that work down to someone else and give them the opportunity to grow.
When we get so busy that we are not focused on growing the firm and our teams, we are setting the firm up for a feast-and-famine future. You can still be the best and grow at the same time. It takes a willingness to let things go and have faith that others can do as good a job as you. Sometimes that takes significant investment in helping them grow and learn. The returns are well worth the investment when it frees you up to grow and build your career.
Chad Clinehens, P.E., is Zweig Group’s executive vice president. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.