Just as with any new business, Cerius Executives went through growing pains in its early days. Partners Pam and Kristen recounted some of the lessons they learned and how they mastered the art of delegating tasks in a growing business.
Delegating Tasks in a Growing Business: Don’t hesitate in handing over the reins
When a business is starting out, the budget is small and business owners can’t afford to hire professionals in every department. That leaves them to do pretty much everything on their own. They have to work in areas with no previous knowledge or experience while learning on the job.
Even though business owners count down days till they can hire interim management, they aren’t always ready to step back when the time comes. Because they’ve built a department from scratch and know it inside out, they consider it their baby. That’s how Pam and Kristen felt when handing over roles they had built and developed to better-qualified people.
“It feels like the business is our baby, especially the areas of the business that we focus on,” says Kristen. “If you ever take marketing away from me, I’m done. I love it. I absolutely love it. At the same time, I do realize that as we grow we are going to be hiring more and more people on to do it, but that’s a tough one. That’s my baby. What if they don’t do it the same… not the same way as me, but the way that my head has it. I have a vision for how I want it to work. I’m not the best at communicating that vision, it’s easy to communicate to myself. I see it in my head. But now I’ve got to communicate it to somebody else.”
Delegating Tasks in a Growing Business: Trust new ideas and suggestions
It’s tough for entrepreneurs to find and hire the right people. Not for lack of talent, but for lack of trust. Because business owners are so used to their own vision and have less interaction with people with an outside perspective in the early days, they are not open to new ideas and suggestions.
Pam says they had a tough time hiring people in the beginning, “We’re just like every other entrepreneur out there. When we start the company, we’re pretty opinionated. It’s all about what we want to do and which way we want to move and how other people have suggestions. Maybe we take them, maybe we won’t. So we had to find somebody that we trusted and we would agree to listen to and go along with their ideas. Because if we didn’t trust them, we were going to override them on every opinion they had.”
Delegating Tasks in a Growing Business: Communicate and share information
High executive turnover is a problem faced by many organizations. They wonder why talented people who seem to fit into the company culture so well at first want to leave 6 months or a year later. The reason usually is because they’re not getting enough information from the owners or the CEO.
The lack of communication doesn’t allow them to move onto the next step or understand the company’s direction. Because they don’t know enough about the company’s vision they’re unable to steer the company in the right direction and get frustrated when their performance suffers.
Business owners or chief executives should take total responsibility, and realize that their employee is maybe not doing well because they’re not communicating well enough with them. They need to step back and take a look at what they’ve been doing and they can make it better for the employee.
Pam advises, “You don’t want to lose people because of you. If you’re going to lose people because they’re not doing the job, it’s on them. But if you lose talented people because you’re not communicating correctly, it’s going to cost you a lot of money and you just won’t make the progress in the advancement of your company that you want.”
Delegating Tasks in a Growing Business: Delegate as much as you can
If you reach a point where every waking moment is spent either at work or thinking about it, you’ve reached your limit. Working to the point where you can’t think about anything else is damaging to you personally and your company. Being engrossed in day-to-day tasks takes your mind off the big picture and makes you lose sight of your long-term strategy and vision.
We’re not talking about secretarial positions where you get assistance in any kind of office activity. Identify important areas in your organization that could benefit from better expertise and more time from a person. Top-level leaders are controlling and try to do as much as possible themselves, thinking they can do it better than anybody else. That’s not always going to be true.
With a large amount of interim management talent in the marketplace, a growing business can get quality work done for tasks and projects of any size. Delegate as much as you can, and you’ll get paid back ten times over.