The art of delegation is about showing confidence in your staff, and your ability to hire the right people. Leading people by the hand means two of you are doing the work of one.
An inability to ‘let go’ is probably one of the biggest threats to the growth of your business. Sure, the daily pressures of building your business, generating sales, keeping an eye on operations and cash flow are important, but the failure to show faith in your staff by delegating responsibility is a far bigger obstacle.
The good news is that this is a natural response and many passionate entrepreneurs believe there is no one better to do the job than themselves. The bad news is that this is short-sighted and probably a hindrance to growing your business.
By delegating operational tasks, you are freed up to keep your eye on the bigger picture and to orchestrate the activities of your staff. What’s the use of employing people if you’re not going to allow them to help you get the job done?
Richard Branson provides some real gems in this article in which he explains how he has managed to build a business empire without getting stuck in trying to manage every aspect of the operations.
Here are some of the key lessons:
Hire the right people: If you don’t have confidence in the people you’ve hired to run certain aspects of your business you have to question whether you’ve made the right hiring decisions.
Promote from within from day one: This is not about moving people up in the organisation, and speaks more to showing confidence in people and their suggestions on how to do things more effectively. By allowing staff members to try their ideas, you are empowering them and giving them the freedom to contribute to your growth - and allowing yourself to step back from those processes.
Empower by supporting: This stepping back does not mean leaving employees to fail. By stepping back you have greater capacity to support your staff through encouragement and making resources or your expertise available so that they can succeed. There is nothing more discouraging than being told to ‘go for it’ while still wanting to control every aspect of an employee’s activities.
Truly take a step back: Once you gain the confidence in your staff’s ability to get things done without you looking over their shoulders, remove yourself - physically if you can - from the operations so that you can take care of the bigger picture. Step in where needed or asked to, but focus rather how you can use these resources to reach your business goals instead of leading them by the hand.
Key take-away: The art of delegation is about showing confidence in your staff, and your ability to hire the right people. Leading people by the hand means two of you are doing the work of one.