By Ron Sturgeon
Forming good habits for success takes learning from mistakes and putting in place practices that work. You likely know my story, that I started with nothing and didn’t go to college, so I know you can achieve maximum success, regardless of your education. Let’s take a closer look at one habit that is imperative for growth.
Learn to delegate. Despite what you think, you can’t do it all. Yes, you can do the job of many of your employees better than they can, but that does not mean you should. Your employees trust you to run your business so that they get a check every Friday. You have plenty on your plate and can’t let yourself be drawn away from the crucial tasks of setting the strategy and managing to ensure its execution.
Yes, it will take your employees longer to get some jobs done. Yes, they will not do the job in the same way or with the same care you would have. It is what it is.
You can’t drive the forklift if you want to grow.
I recall in the first year of business, I was the go-to guy for anything Volkswagen because of my many years as a mechanic fixing VWs. My dismantler came into my office to get me to help him get a VW started. He came because I had gotten him in the habit of asking for help when he got stuck.
When he came in, I told him I couldn’t work on the sales plan, the finance plan, and the new marketing plan if I helped him start engines. I told him to go figure it out. He understood that I had to work on the bigger issues that would make us grow.
I used this lesson many more times over the years. To grow, you simply must delegate. You will help your business and give your employees the chance to get better at their jobs.
Delegate, but do so selectively. Don’t delegate important matters. Don’t delegate so that you can slip away to play golf. Delegate so that you have the time to do what you must to grow your business.
Learn to tolerate mediocrity. Employees vary in quality and skills. If all of your employees had great skills and business acumen, they would all own their own businesses. Learn to deal with those who are smarter than others and with those that, well, aren’t so bright. After all, every worker in this economy is important, and not all employees are created equal. Put them in the right seats for success.
If you have 20 employees, you will have five great ones, and five good ones, and 10 worker ants that are great at what they do but are operating near capacity. You can’t hold them all to the same standard.
I remember one of my competitors asked me how I could have 60 employees dismantling cars, when he couldn’t hire five people that were worth a crap. He wanted every employee to be as good as he was. I told him to look in the mirror, and review the way he hired, trained, managed, and led his people.
Know the value of small increments of time. If you can invest two hours today to save 10 minutes per week for the rest of your career, do it! Even if it pains you, do it!
Don’t underestimate the value of saving 20 seconds in a process you do hundreds of times per day. Twenty seconds saved 180 times per day is an extra hour. Look at the processes that are the heart of your business to shave seconds from them.
Would you like to have an extra hour per week? Some folks won’t take eight hours to put in a new system that will save them one hour per week for the rest of their lives. Be smart. Invest in new systems when they will save enough time to make them worthwhile. Remember only you can make business great!
Ron Sturgeon, speaker and author, regularly shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, growing market share, and more, providing his field-proven and high-profit best practices. Reach him at 817-834-3625, ext. 232 or email RonS@MrMissionPossible.com.