The #1 Reason That Important Things Don't Get Done?

In eight years of helping executives and management teams improve their ability to execute, I've discovered a common obstacle. There's one issue that comes up every time we discuss pursuing a challenging goal. I've polled my audience and will now share... The #1 Reason That Important Things Don't Get Done?

As Richard Dawson, the former Family Feud Quizmaster, used to say, "Survey says...!"

"Not enough time."

If you answered correctly, you're not alone. "Not enough time" is overwhelmingly the most frequently heard obstacle. And, unless you can regularly overcome it, your important achievements are certain to suffer.

A sign of the times?

While you might believe that the perceived shortage of time is a symptom of our downsized times, I can tell you I've heard it just as often 8 years ago as I hear it now.

Possible Solutions

In most scenarios, the most popular of possible solutions to consider is to delegate responsibility. While it sounds simple, for many it's not so easy. While there may be some really important things that shouldn't be delegated, that doesn't mean that there aren't other things that can be taken off our plates to make room for our most important. But still we see many struggle with handing off responsibilities. It is a complex issue. One possible approach is to answer this question:

Is delegation a skill or an attitude?

The answer is "yes", or "all of the above". When you lack delegation skills like the ability to effectively communicate, influence others and trust them, you are less inclined to let go. And you gradually establish some Self Limiting Beliefs that compound your situation. You begin to believe that "if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself". Because...

  • No one will care about this like I do
  • No one else has my expertise
  • It will take too long to get someone else up to speed.
As with any self limiting belief, as long as you believe it's true, you'll be right. But what is being right costing you in terms of your important achievements? If you could improve your delegation related skills, might you be able to change to embrace a more productive mindset?

There is no denying that time is a scarce resource. So before that tacky game show buzzer sounds on another one of your important deadlines, consider how you might develop more productive attitudes, habits and skills to delegate more effectively.


Tom Lemanski is President founder of Chicago Executive Coaching, a strategic development firm in metropolitan Chicago Illinois. As a Business Catalyst and Executive Coach, Tom works with executives in growth orientated organizations to help them to overcome their internal obstacles to growth and achievement. ...

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