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Are You Too Busy Being Busy?


Are You Too Busy Being Busy?

Do you work 11, 12, or 14 hour days and never get ahead?

Do you believe that the more tasks you physically do yourself, the greater your chances are you can inspire your staff to do more?

And then, do you ask yourself over and over why no one seems to be working as hard or caring as much as you? One reason for your frustration might just be your own behavior.

If you are running around like a chicken with its head cut off, scurrying from task to task, often shifting direction with no notice and retracting decisions made just hours before, your "too busy being busy" behavior is sending a off-putting message to others. The message is that you are in Crisis Mode. Most people will recognize it right away—and they will stay away.

Employees distance themselves from an out-of-control manager by not becoming too involved:

  • Why should they dedicate a great deal of their time and effort to a project when the manager might retract or shift gears with no notice? If they have had one of their projects scrapped before because of a lack of planning, they do not want to go through it again.
  • They (physically and emotionally) stay disconnected from the manager and the work. It’s an act of self-defense on their part. They avoid getting burned again by not committing their effort, time, and emotion to a project that just might be zapped.

From the manager’s perspective, she sees employees disengaged and uncaring. The more she throws projects at them hoping one of them will connect with somebody (anybody), the more the employees disengage. So, she believes she has to do the work herself in order to get the work done. The employees see her getting involved in everything, taking over, shifting direction, and on and on. It is a vicious cycle—like a thrill ride at an amusement park, it keeps going and going, up and down, and around and around. How can it be stopped?

Take a good hard look at yourself. As the manager, are you so busy being busy, that you are not focusing on leading your employees? Are you so immersed in the daily tasks, that you are not taking time out to look at what projects are truly the right projects for your organization to pursue for its long-term benefit? If you spend every hour of every day just doing stuff, who is planning for the future? Who’s setting the tone for a focused future? Who’s showing the employees that there is a reason for each project, and that each project supports their future and the organization’s?

If you don’t back out of physically and personally doing and start focusing on leading, your vicious cycle will never end. You will end up really dizzy.


Copyright MMII - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890

Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching.

Liz Weber CMCLiz Weber, CMC CSP

Liz Weber coaches, consults, and trains leadership teams. She specializes in strategic and succession planning, and leadership development.

Liz is one of fewer than 100 people in the U.S. to hold both the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designations.

Contact Liz’s office at +1.717.597.8890 for more info on how Liz can help you, or click here to have Liz’s office contact you.

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4 thoughts on “Are You Too Busy Being Busy?”

  1. Noor Bahman says:

    I couldn't agree more. Being leaders, people take any of our actions and use it against us and as difficult as it seems; we need to make sure our actions are within our control. I myself am one of those people who run around all day, supervising over different projects. However I make sure to never reveal signs of stress or frustration, I keep my emotions intact and go about my work. By controlling my expressions and body language, people don't notice the actual tension I am facing.

    1. Liz Weber says:

      Thank you for taking the time to post your comment Noor. I caution you in trying to be too "perfect" in the eyes of your team members. For the most part, team members don't expect their managers & leaders to be perfect, they expect them to be fair, honest, open-communicators who are concerned with ensuring everyone succeeds and moves forward. If you focus on trying to be "perfect" - (i.e., not showing stress or frustration) you focus your energies in the wrong area. Let your team know you are frustrated, but then, as their manager, call them together to ask: "What specific ideas can we come up with together to help us all move through this period of frustration more smoothly and effectively?" Also, your team looks to you to give them a heads-up as to when times will be chaotic and you and they will be stressed, frustrated, etc. Let them know when those times are coming, and plan to work through them together. It's not up to you to do it alone. As an effective leader and manager - you won't try to do it alone - you'll organize your team to do it with you with your leadership. Thanks again and all the best Noor.

  2. Allie says:

    I agree with this blog! I know the feeling of being busy all of the time and I am only a senior in college. This year is the busiest year I have had thus far in my life! I just need to keep looking ahead and telling myself that I will get through this stressful time and I will have time to relax soon enough!!

    1. Liz Weber says:

      Hi Allie - I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your life will only continue to get more busy as you leave college, enter the work world, potentially find a partner and start a family....it never ends! But how you control your time and focus your energies on doing what is REALLY important and ignoring those things no one else cares about, is what will set you apart. Thanks for commenting Allie and best of luck finishing your senior year! L

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on October 3, 2011 in Leadership Development and tagged , , , ,