When it comes to assigning tasks and responsibilities, there are two types of business owners: The hands-on “involver” and the hands-off manager. The first has the need to be involved in the minutiae of the business: every decision by every employee, no matter how small, must get input and approval from the owner. The second manages a team but gives them the freedom to perform their jobs without a lot of interference.
Which is best? As an entrepreneur, I run companies with a multitude of responsibilities but only one job – to make each business a success. That one job requires a lot of strategizing, big-picture thinking, and promotion on a personal level. How can my business succeed when my responsibilities are a constant distraction from my job?
Only driven by a little old lady to church each Sunday.
You know this old used car salesman’s pitch. The automobile in question is a high-performance model that sat in the garage 95% of the time. Such a waste. But what does this have to do with delegating?
You and your team are like that little old lady and her car. You didn’t just hire employees. You brought in a team made up of people whose skills complement your business model and whose opinions you value. They’re high-performance machines that want to show what they can do.
When you don’t delegate.
Do you really have the time to take part in every task and decision? No business owner does. I certainly don’t. When you’re involved in all the small stuff that others can tackle, the things that only the owner can do will suffer from lack of attention and thought. But the real harm is to your team’s morale. It won’t take long before they begin to believe you don’t trust them or their judgment. They’ll constantly second guess themselves, and may not want to or be able to make decisions in a timely manner, when needed. Those high performance machines start rusting away in the garage until they become useless.
When you do delegate.
Giving the appropriate responsibility to the right person builds confidence. It inspires loyalty. And it turns employees into team members who want the business to succeed as much as you do. Each becomes an expert in their areas of responsibility who can devote more time and energy to their tasks than you can. It also means any problems are looked at from a different point of view, so they may come up with solutions you wouldn’t have thought of.
To put it another way, you’d never give one employee the responsibility for purchasing raw materials, accounts receivable, human resources, and sales, right? Of course not. That employee couldn’t be competent doing all those tasks at once. So why do you think you would be?
Yes or no?
Definitely yes. You must delegate tasks and decisions to relieve the pressure of creating a successful business. Concentrate on the big picture and the most crucial things that affect the company and trust your team. Guide – don’t smother. You’ll enjoy being an entrepreneur more if you can let someone else shoulder some of the burdens.