How to step out of the weeds

How to step out of the weeds

Read Time: 2 minutes.

Wow, what a week!

I’ve taken on a new consultancy role for a client, and it’s been a rapid acceleration of demands, expectations, and learning.

How’s your week been?

Let me guess. A week if high expectations and demands on you too.

I call this an exponential transition and it’s something I and my coaching clients have experienced on our journeys to the executive level.

If you struggle to navigate this transition well, it shows up as:

  1. Your stakeholders start to lose confidence in you.
  2. You sacrifice more and more time with your family and friends.
  3. You start to burn yourself out.

Are you experiencing any of these?

This could be down to the fact that you are spending too much time in the weeds.

This was the case for Jai who nearly ruined his career and his relationships with his young family because his internal fears kept him in the weeds.

You can read Jai’s story in full here – The Story of a Leader Whose Fears Almost Ruined His Career & The Relationship with His Family

But, what about you?

Do you spend too much time in the weeds?

Is it down to an internal fears like Jai or is it something else?

Maybe it’s because:

  • You’re reluctant to move away from your comfort zone where you are an expert and highly marketable to a zone where you need to grow and develop.
  • You like being the hero, the go-to person who solves the clients’ problems and gets the deliveries over the line.
  • You think it’s just easier to do it yourself, or you just don’t have the time to mentor others.
  • You are in a hurry, or others require you to know everything in minute detail when they ask.
  • Or maybe it’s something else.

So how can you step out the weeds?

Plan your way out

With my project manager hat on, let’s plan this out.

Resources are fixed – there is one of you.

Time is fixed – only so many hours in the day.

Scope – scope is increasing.

The only thing you can do is prioritise where you focus your time.

David Rock, an Australian consultant and author, created a model that helps leaders to focus their energy and time in the right areas.

The model is broken down into five levels:

  1. Vision
  2. Planning
  3. Details
  4. Problems
  5. Drama

As a leader, you should focus on vision and planning while only stepping in and out of the details when required.

If you are spending your time in the lower levels, you are also reactive and not proactive. The downside of being reactive is that others control your time and energy and not you.

Your Coaching Challenge

My expectations of executive leaders are that they should be spending a maximum of 30% on details and problems.

I want you to think about last week and estimate how much time you spent in details and problems. 

Was it more that 30%?

If so, what’s the plan to slowly transition to that percentage?

Your Virtual Coach