A good business leader knows ‘you don’t (and can’t) do it all’

Most people know the phrase, ‘if you want something done right, do it yourself’.

By Dr Scott King
Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 4:00 pm
Dr Scott King, Pinnacle Growth Group
Dr Scott King, Pinnacle Growth Group

Let’s be honest, we all can no doubt recall many situations where we have employed this mantra.

However, if we followed it to the letter on each and every occasion, what would it mean for you and indeed your organisation?

If we ask ourselves how did we get to be in a position where we are able to do something right first time, we will perhaps find that someone delegated a task to us so that we might learn and grow.

The person who delegated the task to us, would have had to accept that it might not be completed the way they would like, in the order they would do it or in the time frame they might achieve, but they understood that it was a learning opportunity and gave us the chance.

It’s important that opportunities for learning and upskilling of our teams are explored.

Not taking on the task ourselves and instead delegating it to someone else in the business so that they might learn can be a difficult decision to make, but it is an important decision and one that will ultimately help support the growth of your business.

Business leaders’ diaries are being increasingly squeezed for time.

They are regularly full of double bookings/meeting conflicts and meetings that are outside of normal business hours, such is the nature of their role.

If we sat back and asked the question, would it be appropriate for someone else in the business to attend that meeting, we might regularly conclude yes.

Why? Perhaps a meeting may be so technically focused that it should be attended by someone with highly specialist knowledge, or, perhaps delegating the meeting will provide a development/learning opportunity for someone in your team.

As a business leader you may feel that you must attend every meeting or know the details of every meeting taking place across the business in minute detail, however it’s important to recognise you don’t.

Learning to delegate meeting attendance and decision making within those meetings (where appropriate) to your team and trusting they can handle the responsibility is an important step.

Will there be occasions when a decision is made at a meeting you don’t agree with and wouldn’t have made?

The short answer is yes, however this is a learning opportunity for your team.

Delegation of meeting attendance and decision making can also form part of a succession plan for key people in your team.

Each of the instances I’ve outlined above i.e., delegating tasks, delegating meeting attendance/representation, and delegating decision making (where appropriate) will free your time to work on other strategic business activities.

For example, identifying new partnership opportunities, exploring new sales in new markets, developing your recruitment strategy, negotiating with VC’s or others to secure funds to enable the next stage of your business growth.

Learn and acknowledge that you don’t need to do it all as a business leader. Use your team! Provide them opportunities to grow and develop, whilst also freeing your time to focus as a leader on your business vision and future.

Dr Scott King is co-founder of Pinnacle Growth Group, a business advisory firm based in Lisburn. Scott is experienced in advising organisations in logistics, aerospace and aviation, tourism and agri to food and drink, construction, renewables and defence.

If you would like to talk about transforming your business for the future in more detail, email Scott at: [email protected]

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