Business woman clone

You’re Not Leading an Army of Clones


Businesswoman cloneHave you ever thought “If I could just clone myself, all my problems will go away?”  And then you could just send your cloned self off to do all those tasks you just can’t seem to get to? It would be the perfect solution you wouldn’t have to give an explanation or double-check the work when it was done.

It’s the ideal scenario, right? Except, it’s not exactly being a leader.

This type of thinking can be an indication of needing to be in control, not wanting to invest the extra time/effort to develop others, not trusting others, and not setting boundaries.

When the preference is to clone oneself rather than delegate or ask for help, what we really believe is that no one works as hard, or is as smart as we are.  Maybe we don’t believe we deserve the help? We have to do everything on our own to prove how valuable and hardworking we are.

As leaders, we want to set a good example, and we think by working hard we quietly yet powerfully convey that this is the expected behavior to our teams. The problem is that when we are consumed with our workload we are keeping those around us on the outside. They don’t see quiet leadership, they see overwhelm, mismanagement, walls, and unhappiness.

Who would want to live up to that example? Is it any wonder that the times you are working like a mad person others are not responding with the same urgency? They don’t see urgency, they see emergency. They are concerned about you – and they don’t want to turn into you.

When you find yourself with a desire to clone yourself stop for a moment and take inventory.  What got you to this place to begin with?

  • Did you say “yes” when you really wanted/needed to say “no”?
  • Are you the only person who could have taken all these responsibilities on?
  • When could you have asked for help or delegated a task?
  • Who are the people around you and how could they help?

By sharing your workload you are not only developing the people around you, you are sending them a message that you see them as capable and an important part of your trusted circle. By including them in the process, as a team, you will have the same priorities, same level of urgency, and can work more cohesively toward all your goals.

When’s the last time you had an “I wish I could clone myself” moment? What did you do to get through it? Share below!