Owners and managers have many duties and responsibilities in making sure that their company is successful. They have to be both leaders and managers. As leaders, they must always challenge status quo, create visions and goals for the future, and inspire the staff to buy into those visions. As managers, they must formulate detailed action plans, oversee day-to-day operations, and, most importantly, get things done through people.
It is this last responsibility that often gets lost in the tangle of day-to-day operations. Too often, the owners and managers find themselves bogged down with tasks that interfere with their overall responsibility of growing the business profitably. They fail to take advantage of the one thing that can help them find the time for their key activities. That one thing is the ability to delegate. Only when you are able to delegate those activities that are keeping you sidetracked will you be able to grow a more effective team, concentrate on what will make your business successful, and contribute to the growth and development of all of your team members.
A Powerful Tool
Delegation leads to success and freedom. In its ultimate form, delegation becomes empowerment. Empowerment isn’t new—it’s an extension of participative management, which has been around for a long time. Empowerment is an extension in that the employee not only participates in the decision, but can also have an idea, make a decision, and take action without seeking approval from higher management. Because they are empowered to take the action to accomplish their own idea, they then take ownership. Once they have ownership, they are committed to trying to make the absolute best decision for all concerned.
Ideas + Action = Ownership
Effective managers today know the value of delegating tasks to their staff. By delegating more responsibility and authority to the team, managers are free to pursue other important tasks that only they can do: Long range planning, sales and marketing, training, and coaching. The result is a more efficient, more effective organization.
Delegation and empowerment are great morale boosters in any organization. Managers who empower their workers show that they trust them to make decisions that are important to the success of the company. Trust is a very critical component in the success of creating an empowered company.
In these scenarios, supervision is replaced by trust. To get to this level, though, you must be secure enough to accept and to inspire greatness. The important message is to recognize that average is not good enough. To be successful, you need goals that are above average. You need to develop business plans to reach those higher goals and you need to establish standards for employees and your employer/employee relationships that are also above average. You need to seek to be the employer of choice and create the environment that attracts the best.
Getting someone empowered is a process. It takes time and constant communication. The communication needs to be bi-directional. This is where the employee is permitted to give you information and feedback freely, and you are able to give the employee information and feedback freely.
In reality great employees are looking for the same thing that great employers are looking for: trust, freedom from management, freedom from mediocrity, and a chance. Ask any great employee who has had a great boss what made them so great and the most passionate response you will hear has to do with freedom. You will most likely hear things like, “He trusted me” or “She never got in the way; she just let me do my job.” Ask a great boss to describe their best employees and you will hear a similar theme. You will hear something like, “I never have to worry about his work—he has higher standards than I do.”