Personally, I think there are few things harder to do than delegate responsibilities that you are used to handling on your own, to someone else. As the founder of your business, you probably know best what needs to be done and you're likely used to doing it, yourself. Recognizing that it's time to give up certain tasks to someone else, is like moving from middle school to high school - necessary but scary.
At BlogPaws, we're dealing with this issue right now. We are deeply involved in running the business - working in it, as the experts say. We are not so good at delegating or working on the business. Despite our desire to hand off responsibility to our teams, we continue to muddle through taking care of the day-to-day work - and putting our growth opportunities on a back burner, because we're too busy typing as fast as we can (working in the business, not on it).
Over at Business on Main in the Young Entrepreneur Council section, I discovered a great article that shared a four-step process to delegation. It bears sharing on this blog because I know many of you are in the same boat I am - thinking it's easier to do all the work yourself, rather than 'train' someone else to take care of it so you can move the company forward. Much of the process of delegating involves training - and that is sometimes where the bottleneck is.
Here are the four steps with some comments from me - I advise everyone to hop over and read the article for themselves. You will likely get insight out of it that I don't - and be able to share on your own blog.
1. Offer guidance where needed. The mention the "micromanage" issue - as in don't do it. But, in the beginning, you may have to micromanage "because instructions must be followed to the letter." I think it helps to allow team members to get creative and not be stuck in a process that doesn't work. Bad processes are a disaster! They will create animosity among the team, and they will hold the team back.
2. Allow for disagreement. Consider this - if you're one of those bosses who operate on the idea that "It's my way or the highway"...get ready for mass exodus. In today's collaborative environment, your team needs to know you'll listen to their ideas and consider changes they feel are necessary.
3. The article says, "Do what you think is right and report back to me hourly or daily." That seems pretty cumbersome, to me. Hourly or daily? When you give your team permission to do what they think is right but require them to report back hourly or daily, you're saying you don't trust their judgment. I say, have the team leader report back once a week - or more often if the project requires it. But, trust is a powerful tool and delegating that to your team is a win-win - if you have the right team.
4. Here's where the article states that daily or weekly might be too much. When the team is empowered properly, weekly or monthly reporting is the way to go.
I didn't find this article as helpful as I'd hoped. The author, Nick Friedman, is president and co-founder of College Hunks Hauling Junk so... I suspect the employees he deals with need the extra attention and focus. I'm stereotyping so forgive me. But, I'm thinking these are college kids.
For many of us, our team will be professionals who have a good work history and don't need the kind of micromanaging college kids do. Naturally, the business and the individual projects will dictate the need for daily, weekly or monthy reports.
What do you think? What's important in delegating and assigning responsibility? When does the start-up business need to begin thinking about this process? Is it part of the overall plan - or should entrepreneurs lean into it slowly?
Lip-sticking is part of an online influencer network for Business on Main. I receive incentives to share my views on a monthly basis. All opinions are 100% mine.