Handing Over The Reins: You Cannot Be In Charge All Of The Time
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Those of you who follow me on Instagram (@thisisaby) will know that I went off on a holiday in March to New Zealand. It was a vacation that was long in the making. I’ve known for a while that I sorely needed a break, and I had been putting it off for nearly a year primarily due to anxiety about having to leave work for a couple of days. To put it more explicitly, I was worried that my departure from the operation I run would cause it to, well, keel over and die.
Some of you entrepreneurs might be able to identify with the sentiment I had; I believe it to be a fault that exists in those of us who tie ourselves so closely to the work we do and the teams that we do it with. The amount of trepidation I had in the days before my holiday was palpable, and my team (bless their hearts) had to keep reassuring me that things weren’t going to be as dire as I imagined they would be.
Well, the team turned out to be right. During my vacation, while I kept checking in with my team whenever I could, there were days when (due to a lack of internet connectivity or time zone difference) I simply wasn’t able to keep tabs on them, but that didn’t mean the work that needed to be done came to a grinding halt either. My team just went on with business as usual- sure, there were times they stumbled or got stuck in a bind, but they’d persevere and problem-solve their way through.
All of this led me to realize a couple of important leadership lessons- and ‘treps, I think it’d be good if you take note of these in your enterprises as well.
Focus on the business structure If the business you run is one that would sink without having you on top of it all the time, then I’m going to venture that there may be something wrong with the way you’re doing things.
Delegation to capable team members is essential In my case, my incessant worrying prior to my time off was a result of me not delegating enough- my folly was in refraining from handing off tasks on my personal to-do list, thinking that my team wouldn’t be up for it. This was a wholly wrong assumption, of course- not only was it poor management on my part, I was also underestimating the capability of my team.
Trust and empower your team to problem-solve I’ve got good people on board at Entrepreneur- so, when they were faced with situations or tasks that I hadn’t particularly prepared them for, it was gratifying to see that they didn’t flounder at all; instead, they tackled them head-on, and felt empowered enough to make decisions by themselves, and essentially moved things along.
That brings me to the thought I want to end this note with: as leaders and as entrepreneurs, you may often feel like you have to do everything at your business by yourself- but this is a fallacy.
Remember that you’ve got people on board your enterprise who have embraced your vision, and are very well-equipped to translate that into reality- you just need to let them take the reins.
Related: Invigorate Your Team In 10 Steps