From boss to visionary: How to delegate and build a strong team
But They Need Me
Business Owner News Flash: You are (and will be for the foreseeable future) your best salesperson. Even in a large company with layers of management teams executing the strategy, you’re the one with the vision. It’s your passion. You’re the one with everything to lose if it doesn’t work out.
You’re in the thick of things – still running sales and marketing. You are making sure the team follows up on those precious leads. So much is at stake, you check and double-check your team’s work. At least, that’s what you tell yourself.
Running a business and wearing lots of different hats eventually takes its toll on most of us: Early mornings, late evenings, and long days. All the times you missed a soccer game or dance recital because you had to finish up a project. You get home and dinner is over, so you sit down to check emails and return a couple of calls. You can’t help but notice the side-eye and comments from your partner who is annoyed, again.
You can’t keep that up!
A business owner’s goal is freedom from overbearing oversight by the “boss” – you own your work, your finances, and your time. You have the final word on how things are done – but you don’t want to spend your time putting out fires. Micromanaging your team destroys their trust in your leadership and takes you away from focusing on the big picture.
How do you build a strong, autonomous team without sacrificing vision?
First: What do you want to do and how do you want to do it? Those are the two big questions that make the rest of the vision possible. Start there, and we’ll get to the rest of the questions in a bit.
Surprisingly, many business owners haven’t answered those questions yet. They haven’t determined how big the business can be or how much revenue they expect. Just as important is the question of how will your company impact the world.
What do I want to do?
How do I want to do it?
Write them down. Write your answers. You will advance your business as you articulate your goals and delve into additional, more nuanced questions. This clarity will help you coach your team to success. To get started, we recommend using The Pumpkin Plan. Growth Simplified can guide you through the process.
Your vision is clear, you have direction and focus, so what’s next? Setting goals moves you closer to making your mark in the market. Take some time on this step – it’s well worthwhile. One of the tools we like is The Vision Tracker by Gino Wickman.
Engage Your Team
Once you have your roadmap with the bullseye on the target, talk with your team. Lay it out – what you’ve identified, what you want to accomplish, and how you will get there. Your clarity will attract people who believe in your vision and those who don’t will fall away.
Those who remain understand your vision and will work faithfully to implement it. Ask them, “How will you help?” Solicit their opinions on ways to improve the way you do business. Now that your employees have the scope and context of your strategy, they will make better decisions as they execute the plan.
Now, we do not advocate that you delegate responsibility for things that will make or break the business. Ease into it, let your people get experience, and build their confidence by matching skill levels to assignments. They can – and should – make mistakes because that’s how we learn, but you cannot afford a catastrophic failure at the hands of an employee. Build a culture that acknowledges effort and provides coaching to remedy the error in judgment. Providing a safe environment for employees to make decisions and learn from their mistakes builds confidence and loyalty within your base.
We think this leads to strong and autonomous team members. You can leave the office in their capable hands – catch the soccer game, the dance recital and have dinner with your family! If we can help, reach out to Growth Simplified at firstname.lastname@example.org