female programmer with glasses

The Problem With Being Good At What You Do

I was talking recently on LinkedIn Live – about why being good at what you do can be a big issue. 

So maybe you are in IT, or engineering, or you are a vet like someone I was speaking to today.  And you have AMAZING skills.  You possibly went to University, or trained on the job so that you are an expert in your skillset.  And that all works well whilst you are doing the job you are trained in.

But now it has become a problem for you.

Because now you are “the Leader”.  And the job of a leader is to get better results out of people than they could do by themselves.

To step up into leadership, you need a whole new bunch of skills, that are completely different to those of a technician. 

Maybe you, like the vet, are growing a business. And that means you need to grow a team of managers, never mind a team of technical specialists.  And here is where it gets REALLY tricky.  Because as a technician, you may have been leading by example.  The team below you is learning how to be a technician from you. And because you are superb technically, the team below you are also pretty good technically.

But what happens when you are trying to grow other leaders?

The new leaders / managers in your business will look to you to understand how to lead.  Now if they learn from you being a technician and managing a team – that is what they will do. 

So they won’t really be stepping up to be great people managers. They will be great at showing people what to do technically. But that is not all there is to being a leader. 

That won’t work.

Because you are the business owner.  So if you manage by doing and leading by example, you will probably find yourself working very long hours. You might be working weekends, and maybe not going away on holiday or having ‘laptop prioritised holidays’ because everything might fall apart if you are not there.  Does this sound familiar?

You may be thinking that excessive hours come with the job of being the leader.  But you could not be more wrong.  The reason you are working all the hours God gave, is because you are not managing, you are DOING.

And that is not a model you can hand down to the managers you need to step up in your business.  Why would they want to follow that example? 

What is Leadership?

Leadership is about setting the vision, It’s about managing the motivation and skill levels of your team; hiring the right people; having the right structures in place; understanding your market and what it needs, and what the future might look like.  It’s about setting company goals and plans, and about allowing and facilitating people to grow.  It’s about strategic thinking. 

And all the while you are stuck there (yes I do mean stuck), doing the doing, then you won’t have time to do the thinking that is required to grow a highly successful team and company. 

So, you need to change how you think, how you show up and what you are doing. 

This is what we do on our Leaders Launchpad.  It can be difficult as a techie, but actually it probably means you are going to be a great leader. Techies have great core skills – such as attention to detail, project management, time management and more. You just need to learn how to apply them in a different way. 

So if you want to discover how you can grow you, to grow your team and ultimately grow your business then reply to julie@thinkbedoleadership.com We can hop on a discovery call and talk about how the team at Think Be Do Leadership can help you through group or individual coaching – to ultimately grow your skills as a leader, without losing the love of what you do.

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