I’m a terrible manager of clothing. Not the style of clothing, the quantity. My closet and dresser are full of clothes of varied size, age, and sentimentality. I admire people (and I’ve only met a few) who reduce their clothing inventory as easily as they add to it. They say, ‘Why hold onto the smaller size if you’re not trying to fit into them?’ ‘Why keep the stained sweatshirt of your favorite team when you have two others?’ ‘Why keep a dress you’ll not wear again?’
You may or may not be good with clothing, but being a great manager requires us to consistently remove the clutter of responsibilities we bestow on our team. The greatest managers focus on reducing the barriers that get in the way of our team’s success. There is no clearer barrier than a cluttered and suffocating list of responsibilities. They are the ‘need-to-do’, the ‘good-to-do’, and the 'manager-wants-me-to-do'.
It’s all about effectiveness. Great managers actively seek the removal of non-essential roles that allow their team to be more effective. The secret: Great managers do not define what’s essential, their employees do. The great manager will discuss these non-essentials with other managers and find ways to remove them. You know you should! Just like that old sweatshirt, some roles just take up space and time at the expense of the essential. Toss 'em out!