Tuesday, October 7, 2014

When Delegating In Others, You Must Be Confident They’re The Right Ones For The Job.

Make Sure They're The Ones For The Job.
A few days ago I read the phrase that makes the title of this week's post in an article written by Susan Steinbrecher for www.soyentrepreneur.net, which was titled "5 Golden Rules for Young Leaders". I really recommend you to read it, and as always, you’ll find the link to it at the end of my post.

Delegating responsibilities in others, and trusting they can (and will) be a perfect fit for the task, is a skill that every manager, business owner, or person having the desire to create an efficient and productive team, must nurture and develop.

In fact, at one point in time, most entrepreneurs will need to make use of this skill in order to secure their businesses’ growth, and lay the foundations for further developments.

It’s very difficult for any business to grow on top of its initial creator’s shoulders and his unique strengths, no matter how proactive and efficient that person might be.

But let me keep myself on topic today. As I was saying, that phrase particularly caught my attention, because around the same time, in a group I have with some colleagues on whatsapp, the following picture was being shared:

Translation below :-D 
The picture reads: "In my book "Move away, sucker, I do it myself because you don't have an idea" I referred to the advantages of effective teamworking."

And after recognizing the image was created with an extremely high dose of sarcasm, it reflects a reality that prevails in many companies nowadays: The inability of the company’s "leaders" to effectively delegate tasks on their employees.

If you can not trust their abilities, why did you hire them to begin with? 

And I'll start from this very point: At the basis of every efficient working relationship there must be the confidence, on your side, that the person you’re hiring for the position has the necessary skills to do the job the way you expect them to, and nothing less. It’s very simple.

If this is not so, if that confidence doesn’t exist: What’s the reason that justifies the candidate being hired? Why would you be paying them a salary for? Just because it’s a close family acquaintance whom you wanted to lend a hand?

When hiring a person for any area of ​​your business, you must have the confidence that she/he will be capable of doing the job properly. 

When you make the decision to hire people for your business, you're doing it because you need someone skilled enough to be in charge of a particular area, whatever that area may be. If we start from this basic principle, it is then logical to expect the person who will occupy such position will have the minimum set of skills to do the job right, or at least, the way you expect it to be done.

I remember that among the recruitment processes in which I have participated, there was this one in particular in which the candidate finally selected by my boss, didn’t have the basic skills and professional experience required for the position, and yet the selection process was closed and the person hired.

Which was the final result? As you can easily picture it, all the time I invested in training the person, supervising her job and accompanying her to visit prospects and close some business, was simply wasted because, after a couple of months, we needed to fire her.

"The way you'd expect them to do the job" or expectations management. 

As it’s important to hire people who are properly trained for the position they’ve been hired, it’s equally or even more important to establish on an absolutely clear way, what is expected from them once they join your team and take their position.

There is a phrase that comes to my mind right now, which I've heard a couple of times during my professional career: "You better swim or sink!" and unfortunately I had to live it on first person on the very first position for which I “was hired” here in Spain.

It was with a small, local marketing agency (supposedly “hired” although I didn’t have a contract or any formal relationship with the company, so I was simply put on a probation, no salary period) and I was supposed to do new business prospecting and closing.

I was able to schedule an appointment to meet with the head of advertising for a local government office. I invited my boss to accompany me to this meeting so that we could do it together, and also to show him my way of approaching new clients. The meeting went well (from my own perspective) and we all agreed to put together an initial business proposal for the entity.

A few hours after the meeting, and with no apparent reason, I was surprised by my boss canceling my e-mail account with the company then, when I called him to check what was happening he told me by phone that if I wanted to follow up with the client we just visited together, I would have to do it from my own personal email account.

What happened? Well I never got to know and never will. We had left the meeting very happy with the results achieved, but obviously that was not enough for my boss.

Moral: If your new hires don’t know what you’re expecting from them, little can they do to meet your expectations. 

Do not expect your employees to guess what it is expected from them, and neither plant yourself on the attitude of the supreme leader who is only expecting the best ones on his team to survive, without any support from your side, because by doing so, you will definitely be throwing precious talent out the window.

"Swim or sink yourself" is not going to help build a winning team. Only by taking into consideration the following advice you’ll be able to do it:

  • Only hire appropriately trained and skilled people for the specific area that you need, 
  • Thoroughly review with your new hires what your expectations are and what goals you want them to achieve, 
  • Offer every person the opportunity to grow within your company, and motivate them to reach their best performance, regardless of their position. 

Put these recommendations into practice and you’ll see how your team’s performance will reach new and better levels, creating a very positive environment to work in.

This is the article I recommended you to read at the beginning of this post: 
"5 golden rules for young leaders," written by Susan Steinbrecher for Soyentrepreneur 

You will also find a couple of articles directly related to this one, that will sure make for an interesting read: 
The Oranges Bag Management Model.
It’s Time To Grow: When It’s No Longer Good To Wear Too Many Hats.

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