When you start your own business you are the go to person. You have the vision, you have the drive, and you seek out vendors that can do for you what you cannot do for yourself. You delegate through contracting.
When your business expands and grows you hire employees to fill key roles. These roles are the delegation of decisions and roles that you cannot complete by yourself. That is why you hired them, correct?
Tyranny is always better organized than freedom – Charles Peguy
Leader, Tyrant, or Both?
The breakdown for most business leaders and owners begins when they don’t give-up control when they delegate. Sure they say that they are delegating and giving their employees a chance to be innovative, then in next breath the do the following:
- Overrule every decision by the person whom they delegated the task to.
- Constantly “hover over” the person and interrogating every action being taken.
- Create unrealistic expectations for the person they delegated the task to so they can jump in and “rescue” the project.
If you look at the past business leaders you have worked for I am sure you can find a few more examples where they cut the legs out from their employees. The question you need to ask yourself is: Are you like them?
Are you the dreaded and often feared micromanager?
The first rule of management is delegation. Don’t try and do everything yourself because you can’t. – Anthea Turner
How Great Leaders Delegate
If you are like the dread micromanager, please stop right now! If you are not one, then by all means you can avoid becoming one by following the steps below.
Great leaders delegate with a premise that makes their employees rise to the challenges and take pride in their abilities. It starts with treating each of the equally as individuals. This means helping their employees play to their strengths. When a a business owner/great leader delegates a task they already have in their mind who is the best fit to carry it through. Great leaders succeed in delegation by:
- Providing clear instructions to their employees.
- Describing clear expectations for the task.
- Allowing their employees to make decisions.
- Providing clear deadlines for task completion.
- Setting up their employees for success through playing to their strengths.
Great leaders/business owners follow-up their delegated tasks by inspecting what they expect and nothing more.
Now there are some that would argue that they are called micromanagers but that they are really just inspecting what they expect from their employees. The difference is that great leaders are inspecting the expectations that they clearly described to their employees. The micromanager inspects every step in the process because inherently they do not trust the employee to succeed.
Great leaders trust and believe that their employees are going to succeed until proven differently. When failure does occur, great leaders look to themselves first to see if they did not provide clear expectations, direction, and the tools necessary for the delegated task to be completed successfully. Great leaders know that the buck stops with them. Micromanagers always assign blame.
Strive in becoming a great leader. Delegate decisions as best you can to the lowest level so you can lead your business. Set clear expectations and believe in your employees. Inspect what you expect and nothing more.
What have you witnessed as the difference between great leaders and micromanagers?