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Blanchard LeaderChat

Casually dressed staff standing in a busy open plan officeSome people carry an extraordinary share of the load at work. You know them—people who seem to be on everyone’s go-to list. Sometimes it’s an IT resource. Sometimes it’s a project manager. Sometimes it’s the person who has the clout or the drive to get things done.

Often, 20 to 35 percent of value-added collaborations come from only 3 to 5 percent of employees, according to a recent study shared in a Harvard Business Review podcast with Rob Cross, University of Virginia professor and coauthor of the article Collaborative Overload.

“As people become known for being both capable and willing to help, they are drawn into projects and roles of growing importance,” says Cross.

The downside? This kind of collaboration usually comes at a cost—not only to the person who is shouldering the load but also to the organization. Here’s why.

When someone is called on to be involved…

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