Delegate, delegate, delegate
Most small business owners work more hours than they wish and are not happy with their work/life balance. One of the most effective methods for small-business owners to reduce their work hours is to increase the work they delegate to direct reports. All too often, owners fail to increase their delegation in proportion to the growth of their employee base.
Jim Alampi, leadership expert and business strategist, says “Unfortunately, there is often a learning curve involved in learning to delegate, and small-business owners don’t have the time or patience for that. Delegating involves empowering – and trusting – your employees.”
This statement hits at the heart of the issue. Entrepreneurs frequently start out wearing many hats and out of necessity make all critical decisions in their company. As the company grows and the number of decisions to be made explodes, they tend only to release the decisions they see as non-critical. This forces employees to bring all issues and decisions to their boss’s door.
Breaking this dynamic means the business owner must change their behavior and help employees understand that permanent changes are taking place, which will empower them to make more and more decisions … even at the risk of making mistakes!
Here are a few basic questions to consider in formulating a plan of action for delegating more and working less:
Which of your people do you trust to do the right thing?
Are there things that are preventing you from trusting in them enough to delegate more, or do you just need to break an old habit?
If you trust their ethics but feel they are not knowledgeable enough to make good decisions, what can you do to make them more knowledgeable and when will you do this?
Your staff won’t step up unless you give them clear authority and assure them you don’t expect them to be perfect. Make an effort to stop doing everything yourself; start developing your staff and delegate more – and get your life back!
Are you delegating with confidence?
Adapted from an article by Richard Kirby, entrepreneur.com
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