Decisions and Delegation. Nobody can know everything.
Do you have a problem with decisions and delegation? Do you find it difficult, even impossible, to admit that you don’t know everything? You need to ask yourself why that is? Nobody can know everything. Especially when faced with crucial business decisions where you really do need to know everything. Perhaps you are afraid that your staff will lose some of their respect for you. Honestly, if you have anybody on your team who does think in this way then you are probably doing something wrong as a leader.
Information is the key to any decision, and not just within business. Nobody can manage anything unless they have all available information. As important, perhaps more so, they must also understand this information. So how on earth are we supposed to do that then? As a leader you will have built up a team around you based on mutual trust and respect. Every member of the team should be motivated and dedicated to producing the best quality product or service and at the highest productivity possible. Now the team as a whole does, or should, know everything so never make assumptions, always check with your team.
Never be afraid to admit that you don’t know the answer, yet! Find the answers you need and always be prepared to seek the advice of the people who work for you. After all, they will almost certainly have a clearer view of the details than you do. Asking for advice from your staff is never about losing respect, it is precisely the opposite. By asking for help and assistance you are showing that you respect their advice and that you trust them without question. Virtually any and every business decision, crucial or not, should always be made with the best preparation possible and that can only happen through team work.
An overview is a wonderful thing, but no manager can be expected to retain all the details of every aspect of their area of responsibility. Delegate, seek advice, listen and always be prepared to reverse or change your opinions. Most important is the ability to listen. That doesn’t mean that you wait patiently for someone to finish so that you can get on with your own work. We humans are especially good at judging when we have a persons attention or not. So don’t fake it, be interested. If your team member doesn’t know what he or she is talking about, seriously, that is your problem again because as a leader you should have ensured that everybody is always on the same page.
Don’t be arrogant or over-proud of yourself. This is a sure way to fail at some point in the future. Know yourself, know your limitations but don’t ever be ashamed of them. If you have the capacity and the need, then learn to over-come them. You may well have made all of the right decisions so far in your career but failing to heed the advice of your colleagues is a sure way to make an expensive mistake eventually.
Leadership is more about people management than effective decision-making. The decisions come with the package of a good communicative and well-motivated team. There are so many articles written about the characteristics of a good leader, but it is one thing to read something and another to be able to implement the changes that you may need. A good coach or mentor need not be expensive, use your network or social media sites, such as LinkedIn, to ask for help and advice. The information you need is out there, somewhere, so involve your team as much as possible and use your network. Ensure that every business decision you make is always made based on sound information.
Last thing, never guess, you need only to be honest. Your clients will more appreciate your openness than discovering later that they have just been sold a line.
Would you like to have an informal conversation about this or any other related subject? Feel free to contact me via RealityPapers.com and we can arrange a chat.