Learn to Delegate or You Will Die a Slow Death

You’ve got to give up control to get control. Great leaders understand that they can’t do it alone. Great leaders understand that they need to teach others what they need to know and then get out of their way and let them do it. Great leaders understand that if they don’t delegate some of their responsibilities to others, they are robbing them of their opportunity to grow. Learn to delegate or you will end up with a group of people who can’t do anything on their own.

Worth Remembering … “Never learn to do anything. If you don’t learn, you’ll always find someone else to do it for you.” – Mark Twain

Eight Effective Delegation Steps

1 – Decide what you want to delegate: You need to be very clear on what task you are going to delegate and make sure you give them all the tools they will need to complete it.

2 – Decide who you are going to delegate to: Who is capable, and more importantly, who is willing to take on more responsibility?

3 – Create a teachable moment: Demonstrate the task – have them perform that task while you observe them – and once you think they can perform the task satisfactorily – have them do it one more time for good measure.

4 – Ask questions so you know learning has taken place: You need to ask some good open and closed questions to make sure they know what needs to be done.

5 – Monitor their performance: Make sure you follow up with the person shortly after leaving them on their own for the first time. People do what you inspect not what you expect. Follow up – follow up – follow up.

6 – Keep the lines of communication open: Let them know that you are there to support them in any way you can. If they have questions , concerns or issues that need to be addressed let them know that your door is always open.

7 – Hold the person accountable for the results: Standards, like quality, are not open for debate. Hold them accountable for the results, but give them some latitude on how they do it. Resist the urge to micro-manage.

8 – Be a cheer leader: Praise performance. Be quick to acknowledge what they have accomplished.

Worth Remembering … “If you are having as much fun running a big corporation as you did running a piece of it, then you are probably interfering too much with the people who really make it happen.” – James Burke

Whenever you pick up a piece of paper or go to take on a task, I want you to ask yourself, “Is there anyone else who should be doing this besides me?” If the answer is yes – learn to delegate or you will die a slow death.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization please visit: https://briansmithpld.com or contact him directly – brian@briansmithpld.com

Sometimes Good Enough is Good Enough

Sorry if I am the one to burst your bubble but nobody is perfect. Not even you. You do not need to handicap yourself by carrying around that kind of burden. Aim for the bull’s-eye? Absolutely. Strive for perfection? Yes – always – but understand that sometimes you cannot attain the unattainable. Sometimes you are going to fall short and miss the target. Do not beat yourself up over it. You can take pride in the fact that you did your very best. That you gave it your all. And if you truly gave it your all, then you have no more to give. You can only give 100%. Learn to accept that what is is, short comings and all. Eliminate the stressors in your life, chances are you will live longer.

Worth Remembering … “An environment that calls for perfection is not likely to be easy. But aiming for it is always good progress.” – Thomas Watson Jr.

According to most psychologists’ people move in the direction that is opposite to the direction they want to avoid. In other words, perfectionists strive for perfection because they do not feel that they are perfect. Because they somehow feel inferior to other people in certain situations and try to overcome their perceived short comings. In the long run, striving for perfection can destroy your self-confidence. In most cases perfection is highly overrated.

Worth Remembering … “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” Vince Lombardi

Paralysis by analysis. Over thinking can be a deal breaker. There is no such thing as the perfect plan. You cannot think of everything that could or would go wrong. If you wait for perfect before executing your plan, when early action would have been preferable, you stand the chance of missing your opportunity for success. In most cases perfection is highly over rated. Sometimes good enough is good enough.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about \Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com or contact him directly at: brian@briansmithpld.com

Clearing Out The Deadwood

Jack Welch knew how to win. During his illustrious career at General Electric, he spearheaded GE’s rise to a multi-billion dollar a year powerhouse. His “Be-the-Best” style of management became the gold standard in business. If you haven’t read his book “Jack Welch – Winning” be sure to add it to your list of must-reads. I promise you won’t be disappointed. His book offers deep insights, original thinking and solutions to problems all managers and business leaders need to come to terms with in today’s ever-changing, ultra-competitive environment.

Worth Remembering …  “Don’t manage – lead” – Jack Welch

What are you doing to clear out your deadwood? For whatever reason, we all have or have had deadwood problems that we’ve ignored. Those are the people in your organization who aren’t pulling their weight. They’re not bad – but they aren’t great performers either. They are just so-so. Jack had a 70-20-10 rule when it came to his employees. Every year, as part of their annual review, managers were asked to identify the 70% of their staff that they wanted to keep – the 20% they were going to promote up and out of their department and the bottom 10% that they were going to let go.

Worth Remembering … “When you become a leader, success is all about growing others” – Jack Welch

Letting the bottom 10% go – the deadwood – is not necessarily a bad thing. You may be doing them a favour. You’ve given them the opportunity to sit back, think about what they would really like to do, and you’ve given them the time to put a plan together to get there. You’ve helped motivate them to make a change or you’ve motivated them to do whatever they need to do to get into that 70% bracket. Either way – your department or organization is better for it. Promoting from within is never a bad thing. If you don’t – you are taking a chance that you won’t lose your top 20% to your competition.  Are you looking to try something different this year? Try Jack’s annual 70, 20, 10 rule and clear out your deadwood.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit https://briansmithpld.com or via email – brian@briansmithpld.com

Entrepreneurship – Look Before You Leap 23

Have you alentrepreneurship[1].jpgways dreamed of being the one that makes all the decisions – the one that calls all the shots? Are you tired of working for someone else? Before you take the plunge and jump into the deep end of the pool have you done the market research – put a business plan together – and really thought it through? Have you thought about the impact it will have on your family and your personal life?

Before you quit your job and strike out on your own you might be interested in my answers to a series of questions I was asked by a former business student of mine. I hope my answers provide you with some valuable insight into what it takes to be successful.

What made you decide to get into business for yourself? Timing – it really boiled down to timing. I knew I wanted to make a career change. I was beginning to feel stuck and unfulfilled. For me – it’s never been about how much money I made. Now don’t get me wrong – money is important – but if it’s your only reason for getting into business for yourself – then you’re going to be disappointed – especially in your first few years. Make sure you have enough money saved up to pay your bills, put food on the table and keep a roof over your head for at least a year.

What are some of the challenges you faced in starting your own small business? I faced – and continue to face some of the same challenges everyone entrepreneur faces. Self-employed persons don’t have the luxury of a steady pay-cheque coming in. That puts a great deal of strain on your personal and family life. Everyone must give up something to get something. You need to decide what you and your family are willing to give up so that you can live your dream. Everybody needs to be on board. You need to be committed to doing whatever you need to do to be successful. If you and or your family aren’t willing to pay that price – then it’s best you stay where you are.

Any lessons learned that you can pass on to anyone wanting to start their own business? You need to be really passionate about what you are doing. You need to be prepared to work 80 hours a week for very little money. Have a budget and stick to it. Don’t spend money you haven’t generated yet. Find your niche Become an expert in something not a generalist in everything. What do you know or what product are you selling that someone else will pay you money to learn or have?

Food for thought: The two major reasons businesses fail are (1) Lack of management skills – and (2) Lack of financing. Most businesses fail within the first three years of start-up. (When I say most I mean over 90% fail) We have a tendency to overestimate revenue so divide your sales projections by half and run it by those numbers. You need to live and die by the numbers. Make business decisions – keep your emotions out of it. Always think worst-case scenario. That will help keep you grounded.

If I haven’t talked you out of getting into business for yourself after reading this article – then maybe – just maybe you have what it takes. Maybe you’ll make it to year five. I’ve been self-employed since 1998 and I’m still having fun. I wish you all the best.

Copyright (c) 2019. Brian Smith. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you visit: https://briansmithpld.com