The one where we learn to have faith in our team
Growing your company often requires more team members, which requires having faith in them to deliver.
I sometimes pick up inspiration from strange places. Watching Netflix while falling asleep is one of these places. I was up late watching the Parks and Rec episode “Flu Season” where Leslie Knope is (very) sick with the flu but refuses to accept it and slow down. After Ben offers to take over the presentation Leslie was going to give, Leslie says,
“It's not that I don't trust Ben, it's that I don't have faith in Ben.”
Okay, the next line is “Also, I’m starting to forget who Ben is,” but it was enough to get me to write about trust and believing in your team when delegating new tasks.
Growth starts with trust.
You can’t do everything. As your business grows, you really can’t do everything. And frankly, you shouldn’t. What is your time worth? What do you truly enjoy doing? And keep in mind, what you enjoy doing is going to evolve over time. For the longest time, I wanted to stay involved in the client work with my agency. It wasn’t until midway through last year that I decided it was time for me to back out and hand over the development process entirely. Seasons change, and so do you.
One of the biggest reasons entrepreneurs continue to do tasks they no longer want to do is because it would take them longer to teach someone else to do the task than it would do it themselves. And while there may be truth to this in the short term, the amount of time you save delegating this task in the long term will more than make up for the time you spent training. Consider the training to be an investment in your future self AND an investment in your employee. (Just make sure you’re documenting the steps you’re taking while training in case you need to train someone else in the future. Proper documentation saves so much time in the long run!)
So, back to trust. You can teach someone to do a task and you can hand it over to them to complete, but what if they don’t do it the way you would normally do? What if they mess up a little bit? Or even worse, what if they screw up so badly that it loses you a sale or a customer?
Welcome to life. Nobody’s perfect. You’re not perfect. You’ve screwed up countless times in your past and learned from them. Hell, that's why you’re here today to be able to even have this opportunity to train someone else. Remember that mistakes happen. It’s your role as a leader to teach your employees how to move past their mistakes and learn from them. It’s your role as a leader to trust in your team to be able to deliver on the tasks they’re assigned to do, even if they don’t do it the same way you would. Who knows, maybe their way is even more efficient.
And that’s the core of trust. Remember that you hired an employee for a reason. You believed in them when you hired them. Trust them to learn, trust them to grow, and give them the tools and support they need to take over and grow personally and professionally. They will grow and so will you.
In the end, Leslie still gave the presentation she wanted to give while drugged up on medications treating her flu symptoms. If this is your idea of success, I recommend going back to the beginning of this newsletter and reading again. :)
At a leadership conference many years ago I heard someone say, "If someone can do something 50% as well as you, delegate."
The QA in all of us --> 😬
I think the point of the quote is not to lower our quality standards but to loosen our grip on things we hold too tightly.
In reality, when we delegate to someone we *think* does it 50% as well as us, they're probably doing 85% as well, and next year they'll be doing 120% as well 😄