In my opinion taking a business from point B to point C is much harder than going from point A to point B.
One of the biggest challenges that you usually don’t have in point A to point B is employees. The word ’employees’ entails many many details, starting from hiring the right people to firing the wrong people, and everything in between (as I always say “hiring the right people is just as hard as firing the wrong people). But today I wanna talk about one specific topic which I believe many entrepreneurs and business owners struggle with, and that is delegating.
Let’s first define the word delegate:
Entrust (a task or responsibility) to another person, typically one who is less senior than oneself: “he delegates routine tasks”.
As an entrepreneur and someone who has built the business from the ground up, you are the one that figured everything out yourself, you didn’t have a senior team to ask questions. But it’s obviously gotten too overwhelming, there is only this much you can fit in to a 24 hour work day (yes, overtime for an entrepreneur starts after 24 hours a day….), so it’s time to hire and to delegate some of the work.
But here is the problem that many of us face, we are afraid to empower and entrust our employees with full authority to complete their responsibilities. At the end of the game, this our baby, we gave birth to it, we spent many sleepless night over it. Entrusting your precious clients with your employees can feel like sending your child off to school with a stranger.
So instead of assigning responsibilities, you assign tasks. What is the problem with assigning tasks? Here are just a few examples to give an idea:
- If you assign someone a task, the minute he gets stuck it’s off his list. Hey, I did my job! But if you give them responsibilities, they better make sure to finish it to the end.
- A person can very quickly feel that they are not trusted enough to handle their jobs, and if a person doesn’t feel trusted, he won’t perform the same as if you’d give them full authority, we all like to feel in control, and when we are in control we wanna show everyone that we can do this, end finish it to the end.
- If it’s just a task, the person will ask you a ton of questions along the way, and at that point you are probably better off just doing it yourself. But when you give him responsibilities, he has to see it through to the end, and figure out how to do it on his own.
- And most important of all, although I’m sure that you are a very clever person, and you know the answers to everything. Giving your employees the authority, I can ensure you that it will bring creativity and new ideas to your business. Delegating is more than just taking work off your plate, it’s about letting others be creative and bring new ideas to your company.
In our company, we tell our employees on the first interview “you are not being hired to do your job, you are being hired to make a difference”.
If an employee tell you “That’s not my job” or “I’ve done my JOB” that should be a very good reason to reconsider his employment with your company.
One thing you should always remember, don’t get to comfortable. As Sol always says “Trust and verify”. Trust your employees, but every now and then, verify and make sure that the work is being don’t efficiently.
Remember: the definition of Delegate = Entrust!