Recipe for personal growth

Jun 17, 2013
… while increasing sustainable company value

Your own bottleneck

An interesting opportunity pops up. It is something you’d really like to do. But, when you ask permission to take it on, you receive the answer: “I’d certainly like to assign you this challenge, but I’m afraid we can’t afford to disengage you from your current assignments.”

Does this sound familiar?  It happens all the time. Many people have become their own, personal bottleneck. The only way for these people to increase their added value is to work more hours.

Become redundant

If you want to grow, you have to make yourself redundant in your current role. By sharing your skills with your colleagues, you allow them to take over your workload.  This might feel quite uneasy in the beginning. You comprehend that your company could actually afford to get rid of you without immediate damage. On the other hand, it would be very shortsighted to do so. Your way of working creates leverage and sustainable value for the company. It also frees up time for you to explore fresh opportunities, to realize new successes and to repeat this process.

I am convinced that this speeds up your career, as your learning curve on a given competency inevitably flattens after a while. That’s why it is useful to jump to “another learning curve” from time to time.

Create value through other people

Next to this personal advantage, you realize additional benefits. Instead of working harder, you can work smarter, by creating value through other people. At the same time, your colleagues will love to work with and for you. They can learn a lot from you and you give them opportunities in their own development.

Gain influence

One other thing I’ve experienced by applying this way of working is that by passing on responsibility, such as being a team lead or a business unit manager, you gain a lot of influence. Once someone has taken over this role from you, people listen differently to what you say. They consider you more as a coach or a consultant, rather than as a manager. They understand you do it for the benefit of the whole, not just for realizing your individual objectives or those of your team. On top of this, I personally feel more satisfaction if I have realized something by convincing people than by deciding to do so. Guess that must be my consultancy DNA…

Leadership and entrepreneurship

All of this explains why we at Delaware Consulting focus on leadership and entrepreneurship. It is about inspiring people and letting them outgrow their current level. It is about recognizing opportunities and being able to realize them. It is about maximizing your value for and impact on the company.

So, try to becoming redundant in your current role in order to speed up your own personal development. On top of that, you will substantially contribute to the sustainable growth of your company. Don’t be afraid to do so, think about it, define how you can broaden your personal horizon and start exploring new opportunities for growth!


Author: Jan Delaere. You can follow Jan on Twitter (@delaerej) or connect with him on LinkedIn