I once read an insightful article that gave examples of how bosses waste their employees’ time. Sure, no one intentionally does this, but it happens more than you may think. There were a number of excellent points in the article but one that really resonated with me was the idea of cookie licking.
In case you aren’t familiar with the concept of cookie licking, it goes back to the days of grade school around the lunch table. Students would literally lick their cookie in an effort to lay claim to it so that no one else messed with it.
My guess is that it worked about every time.
The article talked about cookie licking as leaders. So often there are things that leaders hold onto with a tight grasp because they don’t want anyone else to touch it.
Is it possible that you might be doing a bit of cookie licking yourself?
Let’s take a look at a few examples just to double check.
🍪 Transposed Focus
Consider your organization’s priorities. Have you transposed your focus? In other words, are there some things you should be concentrating on but know that with your limited time, you just can’t get around to it? Maybe allowing someone else to try their hand at the particular need would alleviate your load. Plus, letting go would accomplish more for the company while improving you as a leader at the same time. If this scenario describes you, then you, my friend, might be a cookie licker.
🍪 Inefficient Tendencies
When you look at the ways things get handled within your company, do you have some tasks that are simply done inefficiently? Take a moment and ask yourself why. Is it because you are comfortable with how things are getting done or perhaps you like the particular system? Maybe you know things aren’t running smoothly but you just feel all “warm and fuzzy” with them being done that way. Does this describe you as a leader? Tsk, Tsk. Sounds like you may have a cookie licking tendency on your hands.
🍪 Relationship Attachment
As you consider your organization and those that you work alongside, are there specific people like a customer or vendor that you like working with? Maybe you enjoy the business relationship but someone else on your team should actually be the one working with them. Your time could be spent better elsewhere and letting go of the relationship attachment would work in the favor of everyone involved, including the company. If this example (ahem) screams your name, then you are guilty of some cooking licking.
Holding onto things and refusing to let them go inhibits your team’s growth. As a leader or manager, you are not able to focus on your most important work either. Recognize the trend if you see one and break the cycle. In other words, STOP the cookie licking!