What are the barriers to growth in the leadership level of our businesses? At small, mid size and even large businesses the two critical abilities for leaders is their ability to delegate and predict.
How does one learn to delegate? We offer an excellent process through our coaching program that will help, and I recommend a great book on the subject, If You Want It Done Right You Don’t Have to Do It Yourself by Donna Genett, PHD. It shares in a short story the pitfalls that most of us have made at one time or another with ineffective delegation. Our process shortens this and adds a few elements we’ve learned from coaching business owners.
Delegation may be the easy part, at least the how to do it, however it takes a new point of view to master it. You need to recognize that if you want your business to grow you have to rely on others and allow them to fail occasionally. Being a good leader is coaching and mentoring others. Often the best way for them to learn is doing work you can delegate. You’ll be surprised to find how frequently others can do tasks better than we can. Of course that’s another reason why some don’t like to delegate, they have an inferiority complex that refuses to allow them to let go for fear they can be replaced.
Predicting is more complex and requires experience in addition to certain disciplines many of us are unaware of or are failing to practice.
How do we become good predictors or forecasters? If you’ve done budgeting you know that the more you do it the better you get at it. Experience is a great teacher. There are other ways to become good at prediction. One of the best is simply to invest in yourself. Read books on best practices and the best thought leaders. Go to seminars, keep a business journal, stay tuned to the markets and watch your competitors. Another good tool for becoming a better forecaster is meetings. Yes, that’s right, meetings. Not the traditional type of meetings we all dread, but the type of meetings Patrick Lencioni in Death by Meetings and Verne Harnish describe in Mastering the Rockefeller Habits.
The human mind is best at…. Pattern Recognition. Did you ever hear that history repeats itself. It does, continually. One of the thought leaders I respect, Roy Williams [Wizard of Ads] suggests a pattern is repeating itself right now that he heralds as a recycling effort that we currently our in the midst of.
The value of meetings lies in your ability to digest what is happening, recognize the patterns emerging from your people, your customers, and the market and then act upon them. By conducting the right type of meetings you can recognize trends before others, spot problems, and predict the future before others see it.
Are your meetings helping you to do that? Meetings with your team also offer the help of tapping into the collective intelligence of your peers. You’ve heard that one mind when linked to another provides more than double the power of two alone? It’s kind of like putting two batteries together where the sum is greater than its parts. Collective intelligence can help you make better smarter decisions. Ever wonder how some people seem to be better at taking risks and making decisions? People who make better decisions recognize the value in meetings, pattern recognition and collective intelligence.
Leadership is about delegating and predicting. Are you and the members of your leadership team cultivating your ability to be better at these? If not isn’t it time you got started?