There are many answers. One possibility is fear. Many CEOs we work with are afraid of giving up control, either because they do not trust in the abilities of their team or they fear they will lose control. The second could be, in my opinion, a lack of clarity as to what successful leadership looks like on a day-to-day basis. And another possibility is that the leadership team believes it would be easier to do a particular task themselves versus teaching someone else how to do it. Here’s how to address each of these issues.
PROBLEM NO. 1: Fear of giving up control. Author Marilyn Ferguson said, “Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom.” The fact of the matter is, companies with CEOs who are afraid of delegating responsibility and holding those parties accountable to their work will never reach higher levels of success.”
SOLUTION: Delegate tasks that have low risks and low consequences. An engineering CEO was scared to death to delegate sales to a project manager even though he demonstrated strong selling skills. By documenting the sales process with scripts to keep the project manager on point, he was able to sell a $450,000 engineering project.
PROBLEM NO. 2: Confusion as to what leadership means. The best definition we have heard is that leadership is where the leader determines the vision of the company and then aligns that vision with what each individual employee wants to accomplish in their careers.
SOLUTION: Create unity and singleness of purpose where most (if not all) parties have a vested interest in achieving the objectives of the company. This will reduce the number of people who leave the company because they didn’t believe they could achieve their goals.
PROBLEM NO. 3: Many leaders believe it would be faster to do the task themselves rather than delegate it. This thinking is actually true in the short-term. While it may speed the process for the short term, this thinking does nothing to grow its people and allow the leader or manager to progress in their career.
SOLUTION: Spend the extra time and effort to train the team member on the task. The long-term rewards will be more than worth it.
Find places where you can give up control, strengthen your delegation skills and invest time in training your team members well, and the results will show in your company’s bottom line.