“I don’t give work to you because you can’t handle it”  or something similar is said to the supposed poor performer.

Conversations like this happen all the time.  The teammate won’t hand off work to someone else because they don’t trust it will be done well, and then some time later blames the someone else for holding everyone back.  It’s a painful and hurtful conversation.  And a symptom of the lack of leadership somewhere in the organization (not necessarily the person keeping the work to himself).  And definitely puts a leash on growth.

The solution is fairly simple:  Hand it off anyway.  Help them figure out how to do it.  Hold each other accountable for both getting it done and getting better at getting it done.

The solutions are often hard to do though: lack of process that can be measured, lack of dialog, lack of knowledge of workload of others, lack of alignment on priorities.  People often give the excuse “lack of time” which is useless to say because one can’t produce more time.

To both prevent this and cure it, do the following.  Set and agree on priorities that can be measured.  Talk about priorities daily and weekly so progress can be tracked and improved upon.  Build processes around the priorities.

It couldn’t be more simple or harder than that.  But if not done, progress will never be made.