Three ways to do more with less as a leader

The pressure to do more with less is everywhere. Shorter deadlines mean less time; streamlined teams means fewer people and budget constraints reduce resources. It can feel like a no-win situation that can leave leaders feeling helpless and hopeless.

A Leaders Gap

So, what’s the answer?

The answer is actually a question:

Are you giving the best of your leadership and enabling others to bring the best of theirs?

When I ask my clients this question, the answer – if they are being honest with themselves and me – is often ‘No’. This is completely understandable; meeting the ‘more with less’ challenge day in, day out is exhausting.

So, how much leadership capacity is being left on the table?

Well, that depends on the situation, but some clients have acknowledged that they are bringing less than 50% of their leadership capacity as a result of stress, exhaustion and burnout. As you can imagine, the impact of this on their performance and that of their teams is significant.

Leveraging this latent leadership capacity is critical for leaders and organisations to meet the ‘more with less’ challenge and it’s going to become even more so as the demands of work become more complex. Accessing talent has always been a critical competitive advantage for organisations. But there is now a growing need for new skills and capabilities as work demands and skills requirements change to meet technology and market developments. The labour market is tight, and as organisations compete for talent, it is going to become more important for them to access the leadership capacity that’s being left on the table and grow talent internally to survive and thrive.1

<<Related post: Are you ready to lead in the Future of Work?>>

And research indicates that employees want this. The 2019 Deloitte Human Capital Trends report suggests that employees are looking to organisations to take a more personalised approach to their professional learning and one that is inherently integrated with their work.2

What are the implications for leaders who need to do more with less?

Organisations and leaders need to proactively foster a culture of continuous learning and intentionally develop their own and their team members leadership capacities and skills. If they do, they’ll reap the rewards. Leaders who actively work to engage their team members, get better performance, report that their job is easier and experience less stress.3

So, what can a leader do?

Adopt a mindset that recognises team members as valuable people with skills, rather than people with valuable skills.


What are you doing to develop the leadership capacity in your people and that lets them know you value them?

Dr Paige Williams

Dr Paige Williams

International Speaker, Author, Mentor


Determined to help leaders move beyond just the need for resilience, Paige provides practical, evidence-based strategies for leaders to become antifragile, lead themselves and their teams to thrive and succeed in the Decade of Disruption.

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