Delegation can propel your new business to rapid business growth and profits. This article discusses ten rules of delegating that need to be followed in order to obtain peak performance from your workers.
Initially, when you are starting your business you will need to be a jack-of-all-trades. In most cases, startups don’t have the financial resources to hire lots of employees to carry out the various tasks that are required to launch a new business. As your business matures, however, you need to take a different viewpoint. In order to really get your business to live up to its’ full potential, delegating more and more aspects of your business to other people will become essential. For many of you control freaks out there, this can be a frightening thought. Rather than seeing it as leading to a lack of control, look at it as a way to free up your time and energies to devote them to what you truly love to do. At the same time, you are shifting tasks off your plate and giving them to others that can probably do them much better than you.
Many business owners have a misconception about what delegation is all about. They believe that delegation involves hiring a total novice, spending long hours training them to do a task, and then having to do damage control as a result of their initial ineptitude. This is one way to delegate. However, I would whole heartedly recommend against it. Let’s face it, there are going to be many aspects of running the business that you yourself are fairly incompetent at. You’ll do them initially because there’s no one else who is willing to do them for free. So if you are terrible at performing a particular task, the last thing you want is to try to personally train somebody else to do it.
Whenever you consider delegating a task, whether it be to an employee, a partner or a freelancer, I would recommend that you follow this simple but important rule: You should only consider delegating a task to someone that can do it better than you. As a corollary to that rule, you should always find the best expert you can find that can handle the delegated task you want performed.
Let’s explore this rule of delegation that I’m proposing in more detail. It is my belief that each person on this earth has a particular talent that they’re really good at. For some, their performance would be considered brilliant. When these people are performing in their zone of brilliance, work is easy. In many ways, their work becomes play. People around them can’t but help notice and appreciate their extraordinary performance. When you can create a workplace where you and everyone around you are working in their zone of brilliance, then you have a company that is turbo-charged and working on all cylinders. Once you’ve achieved this, you’ve got a company that has huge potential to achieve explosive growth and profits.
So how do you create a company that is working at peak potential? Where tasks are delegated only to the best person suited for the job. Where each task being performed is only done by someone that is performing in their zone of brilliance. Your ability to do this one thing well makes you either a brilliant Chief Executive Officer or President or a poor one. If you don’t have this talent, then at the very least delegate it to someone else that shines when it comes to sizing up people’s strengths and their weaknesses. The following are ten simple rules that you should follow when delegating tasks to others:
1. First off, it is important to realize that for a company to run at peak performance everyone from the janitors to the CEO’s needs to be performing in their zone of brilliance. No task is too small or too unimportant. Your goal should be to delegate each task to the person that is best suited for that job.
2. Hiring family and friends can be great, but if they are poorly suited for the job, you are putting your company at risk. It’s not worth it. It is also very difficult to get rid of them if their performance is subpar. Remember that your goal is to surround yourself with people working in their zone of brilliance. You are never doing yourself a favor, or your friend or family member a favor, when you hire them to do a job they are poorly suited for.
3. It is very important that the task which needs to be delegated is well defined. How can you find the best person for the job when it is not all that clear what the job actually entails.
4. Define the prerequisite education, skills and experience that will be required to accomplish the task.
5. Only consider delegating a task to someone that has the prerequisite education, skills and experience to handle this type of work. You also want to only give the job to a candidate that has a history of performing this job brilliantly. Now you are probably saying to yourself that these statements are totally obvious. It is! Then why is it that companies time and time again don’t follow this simple and obvious rule. How many times have you seen a task delegated to someone because they were the only one available with sufficient time to do it? How many times have you seen a son, friend, or son or daughter of a friend put into a corporate position where they were clueless as to what they were doing?
6. Ask the person if they think they are up to the task. If they say no, then never try to talk them into it. Just go on to the next candidate. Unfortunately, there are always inexperienced eager-beavers that will say they can get the job done. If they don’t have tons of experience, let them learn on someone else’s time. You’ve got a company to run and you want it to run on all cylinders. You can’t afford to have engine misfires because someone is not up to the task!
7. Be willing to pay more to get the best candidate for the job. A word of caution is needed at this point. If you’ve done a fair amount of interviewing, you’ll discover the irony that often the best job applicant is not always the one that asks for the highest wage. There are many job applicants that can really deliver a good sales job during their job interview. They have a gift for exaggerating their corporate triumphs and their potential worth. Later on, you find out they can’t deliver the goods. Now if you are hiring a salesperson, these types of job applicants should be high on your list. Otherwise, you need a method to sort through the hype you’ll get in an interview or on a resume. One way to do this is to have employees already assigned to the task also be involved in the interview process. Have them quiz the job applicant to verify that they have the knowledge and skills to perform the task. Get their feedback as to whether they think the job applicant would fit into your corporate culture.
8. Once you’ve delegated a task you need to truly delegate it. That means you need to give up control of that task. Once it’s delegated it’s their responsibility. Your job is to have a mile-high view of where you want your company to go and how it’s going to accomplish it. The last thing you want to do is lose that perspective and drown yourself in the minutia of the day-to-day operations. Always remember that you have your responsibilities, and your workers have theirs. If you’ve truly found the right person to delegate a task too, you can set it and forget it. It will be accomplished. It’s only a matter of time. Let your workers worry and fret about how they’re going to accomplish it. If they meet your goal or surpass it, make sure they get the recognition and the rewards they deserve.
9. Consider delegating tasks to freelancers or outside companies. There is no rule that says that every task has to be performed by the management or an employee of the company. Oftentimes, a task is a one-time job that requires a person with special skills. In these instances, hiring freelancers is usually the most preferable way to delegate the task. One very good website that can be used to find a freelancer is EmployAPro.com.
10. Monitor each person’s performance. If they aren’t performing brilliantly, then find out if it’s a result of poor communication regarding the job, your goals or your timeline. Maybe it’s due to a lack of resources or poor collaboration. If you can’t find a remedy, you need to get rid of subpar workers as quickly as possible. The bottom line is don’t compromise! Your task as CEO or President of your company is to find and surround yourself with brilliance. So always make your goal to only hire the best.
In summary, when done correctly, delegation can propel your company to rapid business growth and profit. The secret is finding the right person for the job and letting them run with it. If you do this, you can be confident that the delegated task will be done well, on time and probably performed better that you expected.
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Written by: Mark J. Krupp, Confounder of NewBusinessCreator.com