If a business wants to achieve sustained growth and improvement, responsibility must be shared effectively across it. Over reliance or one or a few leaders will result in a workload imbalance which will affect efficiency and productivity. Therefore, empowering different members of staff to hone and expand their skillsets is a good way to attain this.
Transparency and accessibility are key aspects to successful leadership. Be honest with your employees about the way things are going, whether this is well or otherwise. If difficulties are occurring due to a certain challenge, discuss them; there’s no point trying to conceal something which will become apparent anyway. If your company experiences a specific victory celebrate this; make everyone feel included in the accomplishment.
Schedule time so you can have contact with your colleagues and employees. If you are frequently unavailable, the connection you have with your staff will decrease. People work best when they can relate to and engage with the project; having a personal connection to its leader is an essential ingredient to this. Demonstrate the qualities you would like to see in your workforce.
An effective way to delegate tasks can ben to offer a framework or methodology to work through, then step back from the process, giving the agency to your colleagues/employees. This visible transfer of responsibility should boost the confidence of those you wish to empower and show your trust in others. If you step in too early this will undermine the position of trust you have created; step in too late, when things aren’t heading in the right direction, and you will not reach the desired outcome. This can be a tough balance to find.
A wise leader will appreciate that they are accountable for any failure that may occur as they chose the person to empower and are ultimately answerable for their training and briefing. Underperformance in ‘junior’ leaders and managers is down to the organisation more than the individual. If enough time and effort is invested in preparing staff for new tasks this will pay off longer term, as they take a more advanced role within the business.
Consulting early within and outside your company can be beneficial. This will highlight any issues early within the planning stages to minimise the chance of wasting time or money. Presenting this opportunity to feedback will also encourage your colleagues/employees and enhance their engagement with the project discussed.
A confident leader is happy to test their strategy because positive feedback is reassuring, and negative feedback is constructive. Both outcomes are useful. This relates to the importance of humility in leadership. In a traditional sense, leaders may have believed they should have total conviction to all of their initiatives. However, in a modern context, a willingness to consider different ideas is more likely to win you respect.
Do you share the successes and challenges with the people you work with? How could you delegate work to best effect within your company? Do you fully utilise the knowledge around you by consulting your employees/colleagues?