As the leader in the business, you should be working ON the business rather than IN the business. This philosophy was introduced in the book, eMyth, by Michael Gerber. Most business owners and CEOs understand that the only way to truly scale a business is through effective delegation.
While most business owners think they are good at it, in reality it’s typically one of their greatest weaknesses. If they even do it at all, most are missing the most critical piece in proper delegation.
Leaders are typically counseled to make sure they delegate the following, at a minimum:
- Things you’re not good at (you can’t be the expert at ALL things)
- Processes that already function well (no need for you, as the leader, to be involved)
- Functions you want you team to take over at some point (they learn best by doing)
- Functions that don’t move the needle toward the larger business goals
Across the spectrum of leadership books and articles, once they are told what to delegate, they are presented with a variety of strategies on how to effectively delegate, including:
- Establish a priority system
- Communicate the job clearly
- Test for understanding of the importance of the work
- Play to your team member’s strengths
- Always include instructions
- Trust, but verify
The validity of each of these strategies is debatable, as there are several perspectives on how to most effectively delegate. What’s missing in most strategy lists and teachings, though, is DECISION. As the leader, you are never effectively delegating unless you’ve given up the power of DECISION. This is where most leaders fail … they think they are delegating, but they keep the ultimate decision-making power for themselves. This isn’t really delegating at all.
Here’s a quick test. Think back to recent tasks you’ve delegated to team members.
- Did you give them authority to make final decisions around the task?
- Did you empower them to improve a process without your seal of approval on the improved process?
If not, you didn’t truly delegate. You didn’t truly “let go”. You simply asked for help on something you are ultimately going to come back to and assign mental energy and physical time to ensure it was done “right” — by right, meaning your way.
True delegation is empowering someone else with the power of DECISION.
If you’re ready to take your business and leadership skills to the next level, and if you think your business could benefit from more insights like what’s offered in this article, let’s start a conversation. LXCouncil may be the perfect next step!
CONNECT WITH LXCOUNCIL ON SOCIAL MEDIA