One of the main features of entrepreneurs is free spirit. The desire to make things by themselves, to prove that they can, desire which sometimes comes together with the need to control things, to keep all details under close observation. For more than once I have heard entrepreneurs saying “Nobody does it as fine as me” or “I better do it myself rather than teaching someone else to do it”. Sentences which, at first sight, may reveal a certain capacity or talent, the potential to offer a certain value, but when the business is growing, this can turn into a sabotage action. Because no entrepreneur, no matter how good or talented, can grow a business only by herself/himself. It requires a team, a team to grow as the business grows.
It happened to me in the past to be in a position in which somebody from my team had a task to complete which seemed difficult to that person but which for me was a piece of cake. I would have done it in 10 minutes, but to explain, guide and verify – this would mean about an hour. What do you think I chose? The hour. My purpose was not to show that person how good I am, but to teach her/him so that next time it took half an hour, with my help, then a quarter and finally my help was no longer needed at all. All I did was asking a few questions checking the most sensitive points. Later, the same person was capable of teaching others the process and the knowledge thus propagated, the team grew and became better.
Out of all this process, the most beautiful was the moment when my colleague managed to complete the task all alone. You know the children’s look when they solve a hard math problem? Same here. That person’s joy was my joy because I knew that things are ok and working and I could focus on something else or even train other people.
So, my dear entrepreneurs, now for Christmas, make yourselves and others a different present. Give yourselves the joy to delegate and teach others, too. You will free your time and be able to deal with other more important things and they will become better and more independent. Choose one thing “only you” know how to do and teach someone to do it. Give somebody in your team the chance to take it over. Stay with that person, explain and then leave her/him do it alone. It will be a beautiful gift for both of you.