by Theresa Bradley-Banta
Empowerment. What a great concept. Do you realize how many creative and innovative people surround you? That it’s not just you who has the great ideas?
One thing you probably do know is that you may be doing a million things that could, and should, be done by someone else. You cannot micromanage a business and expect it to thrive. You’ve got to let go of those tasks that keep you from growing your business.
When you put a team in place and give your team members the power to excel you’ve just become a leader who thinks and acts like an entrepreneur.
8 Secrets To Delegating Tasks and Empowering Your Team
- Delegate the work. For this article I’m going to assume you realize you should delegate all the tasks that keep you from working on your business. Those tasks that keep you from developing and implementing new ideas and innovation that will explode your business. The tasks you should delegate are typically those involved in the daily operation of your business.
- Describe the end result. Demonstrate a clear vision to your team. Be a storyteller when describing the big picture. Let your team know what you are planning, strategically, to carry out over the long run. Empower your team to innovate if it supports the big vision. Encourage the use of imagination.
- Get out of the way. This is the best way to give opportunity for growth and to challenge your team. This means you allow them to have discretion in the completion of the task. It also means you are no longer doing the work, they are. Get out of the way. Give your team members decision making authority and take yourself out of the picture. It shows respect and it demonstrates trust. Your team will gain a greater sense of ownership and they will become invested in the outcome.
- Maximize others contributions. If you want your team to take initiative, set some guidelines for your accessibility when problems occur. Ask that they recommend solutions and not bring the problem to you and ask you to make a decision for them. Let your team find the answer when it is already clear to you. The more you delegate, the more your team will continue to learn new skills and develop their personal talents.
- Don’t underestimate the ability of your team. This a judgment call on your part and depends largely on how well you evaluate your team. Involve them from the beginning in establishing what tasks or projects they will take on. You both need to be clear that responsibilities are understood. Set a deadline for completing the task or project. Discuss how comfortable they are handling unexpected obstacles or problems. Ask them if they feel they can handle the job assigned and if they have ideas for completing the job—ideas you might not have thought of.
- Create an environment where motivation can thrive. Let your team members make decisions on the processes for getting the task completed. As long as the end result is met, in the time frame established, make it clear to your team that you are flexible about how they get there—within reasonable, ethical and moral methods. Let them know that creative ideas are welcome—you may be surprised by how creative your team is. There’s more than one way to get a job done and your idea might not be the best one.
- Give credit where credit is due. Let your team know they will be rewarded for a job well done and supported if they run into difficulties. Make sure your team feels valued. By making periodic checks on progress you’ll give yourself a great opportunity to let your team know a job is being done well. Or to course correct if necessary.
- Be consistent in your personal style. Be cool in a crisis. Be honest about your own mistakes. Don’t make speeches. Approach your role as leader with humility. Suspend judgment when listening to others. Don’t let your feelings cloud your decision making. Keep your promises.
Whatever your style—be consistent. Show your team you have a steady hand and a commitment to the success of your team and to the success of the business. Your team will learn to emulate you when you show strong leadership qualities.
When you learn to successfully delegate the repetitive daily tasks necessary to operating a business, you free yourself up to working on your business.