My wife has been harping on me about this for 18 years.
“The store is too big,” she says.
“Your plate is too full,” she says.
“There are other people who can do that,” she says.
You know what? She’s right!
I used to think I was pretty good at delegating. My father? Not so. He didn’t like to teach so he would rather do it himself. I like to teach, so therefore I teach it and delegate it.
Or so I thought…
The Staff is Capable
But over the past two weeks, while I sat at home recovering from surgery, I finally had a revelation. I have an extremely talented staff capable of far more than the responsibilities I have given them so far.
Not only did they keep the store running smoothly, they came up with some ideas on how to do things better. Not only did they keep the customers happy, they came up with ideas to draw in more customers. Not only did they step up when I needed them, they showed that their potential is still miles higher.
I need to give them more to do.
The Toughest Part
But let’s face it. Delegation is hard. You know the excuses…
- They won’t care as much as me
- They aren’t as skilled, experienced, talented (insert your own adjective here) as me
- It will take me longer to teach them than to do it myself
And still you’re paying them to work for you. So make them work for you.
Maybe they won’t care as much as you. What may surprise you is when you give them ultimate responsibility for the success or failure of a project they will care a lot more than you expect.
Maybe they aren’t as skilled as you. But how do you build those skills? By using them. With a little time, they can grow to your level, and possibly beyond.
Maybe it will take longer… the first time… but there will probably be a second time, a third time, and so on. Make the investment today and it will pay off down the road.
Reap What You Sow
Your staff is your largest expense after inventory. And if you treat it like an expense, you’ll get what you pay for. Your staff is also your largest asset. If you treat it like an investment, you will reap the benefits beyond what they cost.
See if you can delegate one new responsibility each week for the next four weeks. That’s my plan. Excuse me while I go check on our new Birthday Club we’re hoping to unveil in a few weeks.
PS There will always be some things you don’t want to delegate. I love teaching the Shopping for Baby 101 classes at the store, and I’m pretty darn good at it. If it’s both a strength and a love, keep doing it. Everything else should be on the table.