Leadership Qualities (Series 1, 2/100): Ability to delegate

For this quality of leadership, I want you to imagine that you started your journey as an entrepreneur. At first, you might be doing everything, Marketing, Sales, value-creating, value delivery, and finances. You don’t have lots of clients, so for now everything is running well for you. Also, you don’t mind, working hard because you are passionate about your work, after all, this is what you wanted for a long time – starting your own business.

After a few months in, maybe a few years, your service started to take off, you are getting more and more clients and it becomes really impossible for you to catch up with the increasing demand. “So what should I do?” You ask yourself…

I believe it’s time to start hiring people and with that comes the magic of being able to delegate. So let’s see together how you can do that, and how you can reinforce this leadership quality in your personality.

Trust

You have to trust your employees. You give them responsibilities, you ensure they are doing what it takes, but you don’t micromanage them. When you micromanage your employees, you are sending them a loud signal that you don’t trust them enough. I know it’s difficult to trust someone else with important tasks, especially if they are new in your company, but you can always, review with them the work and assess the results.

If they have done a good job, wonderful, if they didn’t, maybe you should give them a new chance or maybe it’s not the right task for the right person. You can always delegate to someone else. But the idea here is to trust them, so they feel responsible and they do their best.

Someone might be better than you

Whatever we do, no matter how good we are at our craft, there will be someone who can do the job better or maybe faster or maybe more elegantly. This idea shouldn’t hurt us, it should make us proud that we have done a great job of recruiting new talents that will help us on our mission.

When we know, that there’s someone on our team who might do the job better than us, we will be glad to delegate the task to them. We shouldn’t micromanage them, we should trust them, we have to be available when they really need our help and in the end, we assess together how the execution went and what we can improve for the next time.

Success is teamwork, the important thing is where we are leading our company, not who did what. This is why as a leader of your business, it’s important to hire people who are very good at their craft, and it’s ok if they are better than you. Everyone will be working as a team and you will learn from each other.

Empower them to do their best

As a leader, you see now the importance of delegating. Being able to delegate to your employees, to your team members is vital. You know what should be done to move your company forward, you know who can do it best, so you delegate the task to the right person.

People lose motivation from time to time, so it’s your job to motivate them, to empower them, to make them feel part of your mission. Empowering your employees is the best way to help them reach their full potential so everyone is a winner. Your employee is satisfied with his accomplishment, and your company is moving forward towards its vision.

So how to empower them? you might say. Well, everything count, when you delegate a task to someone who is interested in it, it will be a good start. You trust them, you don’t try to micromanage them. You check up on them to let them know that you are here for them, make it clear that this is their responsibility but if they need some mentoring you will be happy to help. When the task is done, if it has good results, recognize your employees, and reward them.

What about training?

There might be some tasks that require training. Here lies your ability to train, to educate. You can go through an example, a task from the past, and explain how it was done. You transfer your skill to your employee through training. You give the essential keys that they need to be able to accomplish their task and get good results.

Some tasks might be obvious to you because you have done them so many times, but they might not be as clear to your employees. So some empathy is required. To help you with that, remember when you first did the task, how confusing was it? how long did it take to group all the inputs? how much time did you struggle?

Being empathetic is putting yourself in your employee shoes, and trying your best to understand that it might take them a little to get the concept. I believe that to train them you must be a good teacher, a good trainer, you give them every key they need to understand the task and how to accomplish it.

Also some tasks requires your insight as a leader, a business owner, and entrepreneur.

Finally

When you first become an entrepreneur, you will be doing most of the tasks by yourself. Hopefully, everything will be going well for you and you start to hire new employees. At this point in time, it’s vital to delegate, to trust, to train, to empower, and to be humble.

It’s an amazing journey of transitioning from your current position as an employee to create something, build a business about it, and start leading people.

I wish you all the best.

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