As people grow in their roles, the thought is often that they’ve earned the right to do less work, and perhaps that’s valid. However, simply having the ability to work less generally isn’t the right thing to do if you’ve moved into a leadership role. While your work may largely shift from manual tasks to more thinking and planning, the amount of work itself shouldn’t dip.
As your role (and salary) grows, it often makes sense to have people lower on the chart do more of the manual work. It’s just good sense to have someone making $20/hr doing simple tasks instead of people making $100/hr doing them. How far should you push that, though? I can think of two very different examples.
First, I was recently talking to a business owner that absolutely doesn’t touch anything that someone earning less should do. For him, it’s pure math and he measures every minute of what his happening in his organization.
On the hand, you have stories like Dan Cathy (the former president and CEO of Chick-Fil-A) taking time to clean up their parking lots when visiting stores. That’s undoubtedly “beneath his pay grade”, but the impact that makes to his staff is hard to measure.
I think Simon Sinek said it best in his book “Leaders Eat Last“:
“Leadership is not a license to do less; it is a responsibility to do more.”
You might have the ability to start doing less, but you owe it to your team to start doing even more.