Have you ever been in a situation where management seems to swoop in and do the work of those below them, leaving the team feeling insecure and uneasy? If so, you’re not alone. This is called scope creep and can be avoided to help you have a stronger future as a leader and organization.
At our recent conference, Virtual Dude University, leadership expert, Bud Wrenn of Pinnacle Consulting, shared more about future-proofing your leadership and stopping scope creep.
Scope creep is when leaders do work that could or should be done at the next level or two levels below them. This happens when leaders get in the weeds too much and focus more on what others should be doing than their own work.
A big cause of scope creep is when leadership doesn’t understand how to plan for the future or how to effectively take the next steps to secure their future.
Some other reasons for scope creep include:
It’s important that you are aware of the different types of work to help you prevent scope creep and hone your leadership skills. Let’s narrow it down to four:
The key is to tap into the cost-effective and efficient nature of filling your time with invigorating and value-added work. Not that you won’t have draining work, but it’s critical to find the right cadence to balance with the other types of work.
Delegation is a key component here.
Some key advice from Bud: Good leaders always help their people delegate well in order to maximize the flow of work.
They don’t just focus on how they’re delegating but also how those they manage are able to delegate.
You may even have to call this out to your boss, by saying “I see that you’re doing XYZ, and I think I could help do some of that to help free up your time.”
What is the definition of delegation? It is simply the distribution of work responsibilities and tasks to subordinates in such a way that balances the workload and maximizes the productivity of the individual subordinates, and the team as a whole.
Bud says, “In order to reverse the scope creep, we have to learn the practice of delegation and to do it well.”
And to future-proof your organization, you need to work and lead in the level of organization that you’re in, instead of working in the weeds or doing someone else’s tasks.
Here are a few reasons why leaders may not delegate well:
Here are some questions you can ask yourself and of your team to help you recognize and cut down on scope creep:
Take a few minutes to answer each of these questions to explore where you are and where you can improve. With these considerations and tools, you can stop the scope creep and confidently help future-proof your organization.