A clear desk helps avoid being the bottleneck
I really like Seth Godin’s blog - I could easily link to his posts every day - however occasionally a post really stands out for me. A recent post called Bottlenecks had an interesting observation that was a different way of thinking about them.
I worked for a company a long time ago where the person running the company insisted on everything going through them - whether it was important decisions like strategy or minor stuff like approving the purchase of paper clips! Clearly this doesn’t scale well and really impacts those around them.
Seth observes that in some scenarios bottlenecks can be a good thing and “allow you to reach further” however in an organisation they can cause problems.
If the project is sitting on your desk, no value is being created. The opportunity, then, is to achieve your goals by getting every single thing off your desk so that it can move forward.
He then proposes you should identify which things really do require your input and to pass on everything that doesn’t to someone else who does meet that requirement.