Success Keys to Moving From Owner to Leader to Coach
When you started your business, it was you doing everything.
Then you hired some people and became a leader, whether you liked it or not. You still did your things, and other people took on additional tasks and perhaps some of what you used to do. Now you are growing your business to the point where things that you used to do are best done by others. Yes, it’s time to let go and hand over the reins. Perhaps not fully, but it’s definitely time to pull yourself back from the details.
Know what your time is worth and spend it accordingly.
My last article on delegation, How to delegate, not dump, was driving at the same point; as a business owner and leader, you have the ability and capacity to make a much bigger impact on your business than anyone else. By delegating tasks, you are freeing yourself up to do other things that have a broader impact on your business?
There will be things that you and only you can do, and you need to be thinking if that is the right position to be in. Your business has a dependency on you that will need to be broken if you are to retire, go on a long holiday or sell the business to someone else.
There will be things that are best done by you as they are high leverage. You may be a key business developer or relationship manager of large accounts. Once again, if you are the only person who can do these things well, then how will you retire, go on a long holiday or sell the business?
You and your business are on the same journey.
For your business to grow and develop, you need to grow and develop. You need to hand things over to other people and move on from being a solo operator or lone wolf if your business is to exist beyond you.
By delegating tasks, you are starting the process of handover, but you will also need to train and coach those to whom you are delegating the tasks. You will need to develop systems or processes that can be handed over. You need to get certain things about your business out of your head and into the knowledge and resource kit of the business.
You are becoming a coach and teacher.
When you are teaching and training someone to do tasks that you have always done there are some keys to success:
- Remember that for them this is the first time doing something that you are really familiar with. Think about teaching someone to drive!
- Keep in mind that you are the boss and your employee will be feeling some or all of these emotions:
- Fear about living up to expectations.
- Excitement about the opportunity.
- Doubt that they can do it as well as you.
- Worry about being able to do it well enough.
- Happiness at being chosen for the task.
- Sadness about having an extra responsibility.
- Tell – Show – Observe – Feedback is a good process to go through. Tell them how it’s done, show them, watch them and give feedback.
- Provide them with something consistent to refer back to such as a system or process documented somewhere in words or on a video. Different people take in information in different ways and some things are easier if they are demonstrated (video) than if documented.
- Allow reasonable time for them to reach proficiency. Some people will pick up some tasks on the first attempt while others will take a few attempts. Observe and monitor the results as there may also be some times where you have delegated or handed over a task to someone who is not suitable to do it. That’s when you need to make another decision.
This can be really tough to recognise, but your best contribution to the business is not by spending time on small tasks like getting the mail or restocking the biscuit tin; even if you enjoy those tasks. Your time and skill have a far larger potential impact to the business if they are spent on high return activities. Be very aware of what your time is worth and apply it accordingly.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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