Years ago, when I was first entering the world of full time management, some words of advice were given to me that recently resurfaced in a client conversation: don’t handle the food. The conversation all those years back was about establishing myself as a leader (at a young age) and that no matter how easy it might be to place the food orders, it would create the standard to carry me forward — as the person who orders lunch!

Recently I was in conversation with a client looking to determine when is the right time to add another employee to the team? How do you know you have more than you can do, and hiring makes good sense? This decision certainly crosses the minds of more than one leader in a day, right? Think about this – what do you do each day that is the equivalent of handling the food? Do you process timesheets for payroll AND manage the HRIS? Do you enter billable time AND process the K-1’s/tax returns? In some sized businesses this makes sense.  However, if you already have a few on your management team, the time has come to determine the highest and best use of your talent. Are you prioritizing the strategy of your organization over the tactics?

I believe there is a time and place to handle the food. And once that habit is built, it might be a default that prevents you from the strategic thinking that is more aligned with your role. Be mindful as you go…I wonder what will change.