Is the role of a business leader to be the best at doing the tasks in the business?
I often see owners of SME businesses get stuck in the day-to-day operations, working long hours with more stress as they habitually jump in to troubleshoot, firefight and solve the problems their team bring to them.
They are the hub and all the spokes come off them so they become a bottleneck as the business depends on them to function on a day-to-day basis.
One strategy is to ask yourself: ‘How do I stop my team coming back with the same problems?’
Answer: ‘Resist giving the answers and ask more questions’
So instead of our default habit of always owning the ‘monkey’ & providing the answer (since we know it, want to be helpful, it makes us feel good, it takes less time than systemising, training and delegating effectively), when a team member comes with a problem or asks for advice, try these 3 questions to ‘break the circuit’:
1. What options do you have and what have you tried so far?
2. If you did know the answer, what would it be?
3. So what step are you going to take next?
When team members have to think for themselves they are likely to get new insights, be more engaged, empowered, take responsibility, grow in confidence, become more resourceful.
The owner stops being an obstacle to their growth, can look at the bigger picture, be more strategic in the development of the organisation. Small shifts in habit lead to big impacts over time.
I always ask my clients to read ‘One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey’ by Ken Blanchard – a simple toolkit to learn effective delegation – and then implement this approach in their management and development of the team. For a quick overview Click here