In last week’s blog I discussed the first three habits of Business Success:
- Planning Thoroughly
- Get Organized Before You Start
- Finding The Right People
In today’s article I’ll discuss the four other habits to Business Success!
The fourth habit you need to develop for business success is proper delegation. You must develop the ability to delegate the right task to the right person in the right way. The inability to delegate effectively can be the cause of failure or underperformance of the individual and can even bring about failure of the business.
When people start in business, they usually do everything themselves. As they grow and expand, the job becomes too large for one person, so they hire someone to do part of it. However, if they’re not careful, they try to retain control of the task and never fully hand over both authority and responsibility to the other person.
I teach executives and entrepreneurs to identify the two or three things that they do that contribute the most value to their companies and then delegate the rest. You must do the same thing. You must learn to think in terms of “getting things done through others” rather than trying to do them yourself. It’s the only way you can leverage and multiply your special skills and abilities.
Inspect What You Expect
The fifth requirement for business success is for you to develop the habit of proper supervision. You must set up a system to monitor the task and make sure it’s being done as agreed upon. The rule is, “inspect what you expect”. Once you’ve delegated a task to the right person in the right way, it’s essential that you monitor the performance of the task and make sure it’s done on schedule and to the required level of quality. Remember, delegation is not abdication. You are still responsible for the ultimate results of the delegated tasks. You must stay on top of it.
When you’ve delegated a task, set up a system of reporting so that you’re always informed as to the status of the work. Be sure the other person knows what is to be done, and when, and to what standard. Your job is then to make sure he or she has the time and resources necessary to get the job done satisfactorily. The more important the job, the more often you should check on the progress.
Measure What Gets Done
The sixth practice of successful entrepreneurs and executives is the habit of measuring performance. You must set specific, measurable standards and score cards for the results you require. You have to set specific timelines and deadlines to make sure you “make your numbers” on schedule. Everyone who’s expected to carry out a task must know with complete clarity the targets he or she is aiming at, how successful performance will be measured, and when the expected results are due.
We teach the importance of selecting and defining specific goals, measures and activities that are then used as benchmarks for performance. Jim Collins, in his book From Good to Great, refers to the importance of selecting the “economic denominator” for a company, and for individual goals and objectives within that company. Whichever number you choose, it must be clear to everyone, and it must be monitored continually to make sure everyone is on track.
Keep People Informed
The seventh habit for business people is the habit of reporting results regularly and accurately. People around you need to know what’s going on. Your bankers need to know your financial results. Your staff needs to know the status and the situation of your company. Your key people, at all levels, need to know what results are being achieved.
In a study on workplace motivation, several thousand employees said the most important factor leading to job satisfaction was “being in the know.” People in an organization have a deep need to know and understand what is going on around them in relation to their work. The more thoroughly and accurately you report to people the details and situation of your business, the happier they’ll be and the better results they will get.
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