Keeping your business flourishing is an incessant task. How to grow your business, how to keep it afloat, how to make it recession-proof – these are always in businessmen’s minds no matter how well or how bad their businesses are doing.
It’s as if they have so little on their plate that they still want to do everything else.
One good definition of effective management is getting work done through people. A great leader is one who has mastered the art of delegation. Those who have mastered this art, or at least have tried, can sit back, albeit every once in a while (and maybe squeeze in a month-long holiday or two) and watch their business grow.
But what is the secret of successful delegating? Simple – trust. True delegation is entrusting a function, say B2B Lead Generation or IT Outsourcing, to somebody whom you trust will do a job as good as you, or more often than not, better than you. The most common problem of managers, owners, directors, and other senior decision-makers is, once they delegate, once they pass on the task to their team, they don’t know when to let go. They watch closely over their shoulders, breathing down their necks, then jumping in the minute they make the slightest mistake. You shouldn’t be hands-on, but then you shouldn’t be hands-off either.
Pick the right people for the job. Identify and understand each team member’s strengths and weaknesses and assign the appropriate tasks.
Communicate clearly your expected outcome without telling people exactly how to do the task. Convey the end goals and objectives, including deliverables and timetables, but let them formulate their own approach. Avoid asking for regular updates but instead ask them upfront to submit regular progress reports. Each employee may need different degrees of monitoring. Some are more independent than others and some work better with some supervision. The secret is discerning your team well and providing the right amount of supervision that each one needs.
A remarkable side effect of this ‘entrusting’ is ‘empowering’. When people take ownership of their projects, they become more motivated to work harder. There are no harder working employees than those who feel trusted, appreciated, and esteemed. When employees are held accountable for their responsibilities, they perform better and they learn faster.
Delegating is an art that is very difficult to master and takes a lot of practise because it involves dealing with different kinds of people, different kinds of tasks, different situations. But like anything else that is worth mastering, you have to invest a lot of time and effort but the outcome will surely be worth it – that year-long beach holiday while your business is taking care of itself.